This unusual name is of old Norman locational origin and is the anglicized version of the Norman French name "Picquigny" in the Somme district. The placename is so called from a Germanic personal name "Pincino", of obscure derivation with the local suffix "acum", meaning settlement, village or town. The surname thus denotes "someone from Pincino's village". The modern surname has two forms, Pinckney and Pinkney. One Alice Pinckney was christened at St. Botolphs, Bishopsgate in London on the 29th of September 1572 and the marriage of Charles Pinckney and Ursulay Channon was recorded on the 29th of March 1654 at St.Benet, Paul's Wharf, London. Also the London church registers record the christening of Isabella, daughter of Theophilis Pinkey at Knights bridge in 1668, while at St. Sepulchre, John, son of James and Ann Pinckney was christened on March 25th 1705. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ansculfus de Pinchergi, which was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book, Berkshire, during the reign of King William 1, known as "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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