This interesting surname is an occupational name for a fisherman, deriving from the Old French "pescheor", "pecheour" or "pecher" meaning fisherman. Occupational surnames which were originally job descriptive later became hereditary. The surname is first recorded in the early 13th Century (see below). One Nicholas le Peschur, is noted as a witness in the Assize Court Rolls of Worcestershire in 1221, and John le Pechere appears in the Cartulary of Oseney Abbey, Oxfordshire, in 1242. In the modern idiom, the surname has three variant spellings, Peacher, Pitcher and Petcher. Recordings of the surname from London Church Registers include: John, son of Richard and Alice Petcher, who was christened at St. Martin Ludgate's, on August 22nd 1644; Thomas Petcher, who married Elizabeth Gregory at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, on February 6th 1713; Mary, daughter of George and Elizabeth Petcher, who was christened on June 11th 1717, at St. Botolph without Aldgate; and Ellen Petcher, who was christened on March 20th 1837, at St. Mary's, Marylebone Road. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam le Pechur, which was dated 1210, in the "Curia Regis Rolls of Dorset", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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