This most interesting surname is of Norman-French origins. It may derive from any of three possible sources, all personal names. Firstly the name Richold, similar to the more popular Ricard or Richard, and composed of the Germanic elements "ric", meaning power and "wald", to rule. Secondly the female name Ricolda, from the elements "ric", as before, but with the suffix "hild", battle. Power-battle may seem an unlikely female name, but surprisingly the female names of the Dark Ages were often at least as macho as the male equivalents.The third option was the Norman personal name "Richward", again from "ric", with "ward", meaning to guard. This latter appears to be the source of the original recordings. All these names were first introduced into England after the Conquest of 1066. Compared with the name Richard, none of them became particularly popular, and all were eventually "fused" into the surnames spellings as shown. These early recordings include Walter Rykeward in the Hundred Rolls of the county of Norfolk in the year 1275, whilst Roger Record appears in the index to the Wills proved in the Consistory Court of Norwich in 1393. Later examples include John Record who was christened on April 12th 1604 at St James church, Old Fish Street, in the city of London, whilst Robert Recorde (1510 - 1558), was a famous mathematician and was the first to use the sign =. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Rikeward. This was dated 1101, in the documents illustrative of the Social and Economic history of the Danelaw, during the reign of King Henry 1st, known as "The Lion of Justice", 1100 -1135. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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