This unusual and interesting surname, recorded in English Church Registers from the mid 17th Century under the variant spellings Rickarsey, Rickarse, Rickersy, Rickasse, Rickesies, and Rijkeseis, is believed to be of locational origin from some minor, lost, or unrecorded place having as its initial element the early medieval English male "Ricker", from the Norman Ricard, from the Germanic "Ric" (power), "hard" (strong), with the Olde English pre 7th Century "-eg", island, piece of firm land in a fen, or land situated between streams; hence, "Ricard's island". Alternatively, Rickersey may be an Anglicized form of a Dutch locational surname from some place in the Netherlands similarly named. Locational surnames were originally given to local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. Regional and dialectal differences subsequently gave rise to several variations on the original spelling of the name. English recordings include: the marriage of Charles Rickeseys to Elizabeth Aylett in Stock, Essex, on September 8th 1677, and the christening of Alfred Rickersey, an infant, at Orpington, Kent, on September 30th 1866. Among the sample recordings from the Netherlands is the marriage of Bietje Rijkertze to Toon Teunisze, at Nijkerk, Gelderland, on October 19th 1738, and the marriage of Frank Rijkertse and Dirkje Alltse in the same place, on June 19th 1740. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Jacob Rickarse, which was dated June 25th 1657, witness at the christening of his daughter, Abigaell, at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London, during the reign of Oliver Cromwell, known as "The Great Protector", 1649 - 1658. 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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