This unusual and intriguing name is of Old Scandinavian origin, and is an occupational surname for a thatcher, someone who covered roofs with thatch or other materials. The name derives from the Northern Middle English term "theke(n)", to thatch, adopted from the Old Norse "thekja", to cover, roof, with the agent suffix "-er". Among the craftsmen who went in procession in the medieval York mystery plays were the "Tille-thekers", men who covered roofs with tiles, and one Thomas Ledtheker is recorded in Yorkshire in 1305, showing that he used lead to roof buildings. Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. Early examples of the surname include: William Thecker (1301, London), and Anabilla Thekker (1327, Lincolnshire), and among recordings from Yorkshire Church Registers are the marriage of John Theaker and Dousabell Killingbecke at Keighley, on September 12th 1574, and the christening of Richard Theaker on February 2nd 1579, in Halifax. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William le Theker, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Norfolk", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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