Shickle is one of those unusual surnames which is relatively popular in one region, but almost unheard of elsewhere. It has been well recorded in East Anglia since the 18th century but its origins are much earlier. It almost certainly derives from the German "Sichel" a metonymic for a maker of scythes and sickles. In the 16th and 17th centuries the area saw a major influx of Dutch - German engineers who were employed on draining the fens, and this may well be the source of the name. This period also saw the introduction of Huguenot refugees from France and the Low Countries, many went to East Anglia, again a source for the name. A recent publication indicated that the name could be a diminutive of the German "Schick" - a nickname for a pleasant and well behaved person, a suggestion that few will find objectionable! The earliest recording in England is in London, which is quite usual for an immigrant name, although thereafter the preponderance is almost wholly East Anglian. These recordings include Edward Shickle, a witness at the church of St Mary Whitechapel, London, on August 15th 1697, and Jeffrey Shickle who married Ann Allison at Surlingham Church, Norfolk, on May 22nd 1770, and that of their son Jeffrey christened at the same church on May 23rd 1784. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Michael Schickle, which was dated July 1st 1633, christened at Karlsruhe, Baden, Germany, during the reign of Emperor Ferdinand 11, of the German Empire, 1619 - 1637. 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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