This picturesque name is of Medieval English origin and is a dialectal variant of the locational name Pitcombe from a place so called in Somerset. The derivation is from the river name of Germanic origin cognate with Middle Dutch 'pedel', lowland or fenland, and the Old English pre 7th Century 'cumb', a coomb or valley. The earliest recording of this placename is in the Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Pidecombe' and in Documents Preserved in France of 1155 as 'Pidecumba'. During the Middle Ages when people began to migrate from their place of birth to seek work elsewhere, they would often adopt the village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. Amongst the sample recordings in Devon is the christening of Richdurde Puddicombe on October 8th 1597 at Shobrooke, Devon. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Tamsin Puddicombe (christening), which was dated July 18th 1575, Bridford, Devon, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, 'Good Queen Bess', 1558-1603. 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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