Recorded in the related spellings of Thick, Thickin, Thicken, Thicking, and Thickett, and the patronymic forms ending with 's', this surname is generally considered to be an English medieval nickname. If so like 'Stubb(s)' it describes a stout person, one who was thickset. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th century 'thikke'. As such this is a very early surname with examples including John Le Thikke of Somerset in the 1273 Hundred Rolls and Goscelin Thikke in Pardons Roll of 1377. The diminutive form is usually Thick+(k)in, or 'kin of Thick' or Thick+ett (a short form of the French 'petit') to mean 'Little Thick'. However there is a confusion with the 'Thickett' spelling as a village called 'Thickett' exists in the East Riding of Yorkshire, and it is known that since at least the 16th century the name has been well recorded in the area, and clearly derives from that source. The village is first recorded in 1219 in the spelling of 'Thicheheved', a spelling which suggests that the meaning is 'the thickett on the (river) head, the village being adjacent to the River Derwent. Examples of the recordings include Marye Thickens at Allhallows Church, Honey Pot Lane, London, on November 1st 1574, Sara Thickings who married Robert Appes at St Dunstans, Stepney, on May 27th 1599, Johannis Thickett of Penistone, Yorkshire, on April 24th 1666, and William Wilkins Thicketts at St Mary-le-Bone, London, on February 18th 1776. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Jon Le Thike, which was dated 1243, in the Assize Court Rolls of Somerset, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as 'The Frenchman', 1216 - 1272. 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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