Recorded as Petch, Petche, Peech, Peach, with diminutives Pechell, Petchell, Petchill, and others, this is an English surname although one of Olde French origins. Introduced into the British Isles at or shortly after the famous Norman Invasion of 1066, it derives from the word "pech" meaning sin or sinful! As such it was a medieval nickname surname either for a total reprobate, or more likely somebody who was the complete opposite! Unfortunately without being actually present at the time the name was given it is impossible to say with any exactness as to what was actually meant nearly a thousand years ago! The surname is one of the very earliest recorded as shown below. Other examples taken from surviving medieval records include Hamo Pecce in the Feudal Documents of the Abbey of St. Edmunds, Suffolk in 1161, and Ralph Pecche in the similar records of the abbey of St. Benet of Holme, in the county of Norfolk in 1168. Later church registers recordings include Ellen Petchell, who married Thomas Athill at the church of St Bartholomews the Less in the city of Landon on August 2nd 1631, and Josiah Petche, christened on November 7th 1704 at St. Sepulchre's also in the city of London. A coat of arms associated with the name has the blazon of a blue shield charged with a silver eagle displayed. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Willelmus Peccat. This was dated 1086, in the famous Domesday Book of England and during the reign of King William 1st, known as "The Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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