Recorded in many forms although all quite rare and including Reckas, Reckhouse, Reckless, Reckliss, Retchless, Reckus, Rickhouse, and Rickhuss, this is a most unusual English medieval surname. It has nothing to do with 'wrecks' of any sort or reckless behaviour, and is almost certainly residential. 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 not the original spelling, and may only be 18th century, being recorded for instance in Essex in 1796 with a Mrs Sarah Rickhuss of Harwich, whilst otherforms such as Reckhouse is probably a city of London derivative an example being Sarah Reckouse who married Luke Smithett at St Peters Cornhill, on April 5th 1825. The reverse development of the surname would seem to be Reckhouse, Reckless and Reckliss (19th century) from Rickhuss (18th century) from Rickis (17th century), with William Rickis for example, being recorded at Sunbury on Thames, Middlesex on March 30th 1613. If this is the case then reaching even further back into history we may have Rikiss as a development from the 13th century Riches, first recorded in Sussex in 1296 with a William Ryches. "Rych" was a later form of the Olde English "ric", meaning a stream, and hence topographical description for a person who lived by a stream. In effect with this unusual surname we have a complete research 'circle'.
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