This unusual and interesting surname is of Old French origin, and is a patronymic form of a diminutive of the name Spike, a nickname from the Middle English "spek(e)", itself a development of the Old French "espech(e), espek" meaning woodpecker; the suffix "s" denotes son of. This name is an example of that sizeable group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. The nicknames were given in the first instance with reference to a variety of characteristics, such as physical attributes or peculiarities, including supposed resemblance to an animal's or bird's appearance or disposition. Variations in the spelling of the surname include Spikeings, Spikins, Spykins, and Spykings. London Church Records list the marriage of Richard Spikings to Ann Browne on September 1st 1651 at St. Margaret's, Westminster, and the christening of Dorothy, daughter of Richard and Ann Spykins, on January 22nd 1654, also at St. Margaret's. John Spikings married Mary Hales in Boston, Lincolnshire, on August 24th 1725. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Rychardus Spykying, which was dated January 1st 1563, christened in Bolingbroke (Old), Lincolnshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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