Recorded in the spellings of Petch, Peckett and Peckitt, this picturesque surname is of medieval French origin. It derives from the Old French "pechie", the Latin "peccatum", meaning sin. It would seem to have been a curious nickname surname, and it was probably used more often in jest than as a mark of censure, or even in the ironical sense, as in the case of Robert Pecce, who was the bishop of Coventry in 1123 and hardly likely to have been a sinner! The following examples illustrate the name development from the earliest times : Haimund Peccatum, Hamo Pecce (1121 - 1160 Suffolk), Rotbert Pecceth (1123 Anglo Saxon Chronicle), William Pesche (1178 Pipe Rolls Yorkshire), Gilbert Pechie (1200, Pipe Rolls, Cambridgeshire), Geoffrey Pech (1191, Pipe Rolls London), Richard Pechee (1275 Hundred Rolls Norfolk). In the modern idiom the variant include Pe(t)chey, Peach(e), Peech, Petch(e). Charles William Peach (1800 - 1886) naturalist and geologist, employed in the customs, made important researches in the study of marine invertebrates and in geology. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Willelmus Pekat, which was dated 1088, in the register of Ramsbury Abbey, Cambridge. This was during the reign of King William 1, known as "William the Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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