This interesting name is of early medieval English origin. It is topographical for someone who lived by a small field or paddock. The name derives from the Middle English word "pightel", meaning a small enclosure. Topographical names were among the earliest group of surnames to be created in England and other countries in Europe, as they became necessary, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided instant and easily recognisable identifying names for the inhabitants of the small communities of the Middle Ages. The modern surname can be found as Pickles, Pickless, Pickle and Pighills, and is recorded mainly in Yorkshire. Early examples of the name recording include the marriage of Thomas Pickles and Sarah Tennard at Bingley, in Yorkshire, on January 28th 1649, whilst Ronald Pickles, a famine emigrant, sailed from Liverpool aboard the ship "New World" bound for New York on June 7th 1847. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Righkeleys. This was dated 1379, in the Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire, during the reign of King Richard 11nd, known as "Richard of Bordeaux", 1377 - 1399. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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