This most interesting surname is of Norman-French origin, and derives from any of three Norman personal names. Firstly, it may come from the Old Germanic personal name "Ricward", in Old French "Ricoart", which is composed of the Germanic elements "ric", power and "ward", guard, guardian; hence, "powerful-guardian". Alternatively, it may be from the feminine personal name "Ricolda", deriving from the Germanic elements "ric", power, and "hild", battle. Finally, it may have originated from the Norman personal name "Richold", made up of the Germanic elements "ric", power, and "wald", rule.Modern variants of the surname include Rickward, Rickword, Rickcord, Record and Records. The personal name is recorded in the Pipe Rolls of Berkshire in 1190 as "Richewardus", and the surname was first recorded in the early 12th Century (see below). Walter Rykeward was listed in the Hundred Rolls of Norfolk in 1275, and Roger Recard was mentioned in 1393 in the Index to Wills proved in the Consistory Court of Norwich (Suffolk). Thomas, son of John and Mary Rickwood, was christened on October 22nd 1628, at St. Bartholomew the Great, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Rikeward, which was dated circa 1100, in "Documents illustrative of the Social and Economic History of the Danelaw", during the reign of King Henry 1, known as "The Administrator", 1100 - 1135. 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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