Recorded in many forms including Reckas, Reckhouse, Reckless, Reckus, Rickhouse, and Rickhuss, this is a most unusual English medieval surname. The famous International Genealogical Index lists it under the name Rickhuss, a spelling which suggests a pre 7th century Olde English origin from the word "ric" meaning a stream, and "hus" a house, to give the perfectly logical "house by the stream". However it would seem that Rickhuss is by no means the original spelling, and may only be 18th century, being recorded for instance in Essex in 1796 with a Mrs Sarah Rickhuss of Harwich. Reckhouse is probably a later development or derivative, and one that is recorded in the city of London for instance in 1825, when Sarah Reckouse married Luke Smithett at St Peters Cornhill, on April 5th of that year. The origination of the surname going back in time before Rickhuss suggests that it was Rickis, with William Rickis for example, being recorded at Sunbury on Thames, Middlesex on March 30th 1613. If this is so then we believe that the surname however spelt is a derivative of the medieval surname Riches, first recorded in Sussex in 1296 with a William Ryches. "Rych" was a later form of the Olde English "ric", and hence has a topographical meaning for the name of a person who lived by a stream. In effect with this unusual surname we have completed a research circle.
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