This picturesque and interesting surname is a dialectal variant of the locational name Wigfall, from a place so called in Yorkshire. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "wic", itself from the Latin "vicus", meaning a farm, especially a dairy farm with either "feld" open country, a field, thus the field of the dairy farm, or "fell" a mountain. During the Middle Ages, when it was becoming more common for people to leave their native villages, generally to seek work elsewhere, they would often adopt the placename as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. Among the early recordings in Yorkshire are the christenings of Eliza Quickfall on October 17th 1726, and Gervase Quickfall on Spetember 18th 1735, both at Whitgift. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry de Wigfall, which was dated 1379, in the "Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire", during the reign of King Richard 11, known as "Richard of Bordeaux", 1377 - 1399. 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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