This long-established surname is of early medieval English origin, and is either an occupational name for one employed at the vicar's residence, or a patronymic surname denoting "son of the vicar". The derivation is from the Middle English "vicare, vickere" (Old French "vicaire"), ultimately from the Latin "vicarius", substitute, deputy, one who carried out pastoral duties on behalf of the absentee holder of a benefice. The possessive "-s" indicates either "servant at the vicar's (house)", or a reduced form of "son of"; one ilbertus filius (son of) vicarii was noted in Documents from the Abbey of Bec, Oxfordshire, dated circa 1248. Early examples of the occupational name include: Henry Attevickers (Derbyshire, 1327); Peter atte Vicars (Howdenshire, County Yorkshire, 1379); and Joan Atvicars, noted in the 1400 Yorkshire Wills Records. In the modern idiom the name has four spelling variations: Vicars, Viccars, Vickars and Vickers. John Viccars of London was entered in the Oxfordshire University Register of 1581, and in 1592, Anne Vickars was noted in the Register of the Parish Church of Rothwell, Yorkshire. In July 1635, John Viccars, an early emigrant to the New World, embarked from London on the ship "Alice" bound for Virginia. The Coat of Arms most associated with the name is a silver shield with a red fret, the Crest being a cubit arm proper, vested red, holding an azure millrind. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William del Vikers, which was dated 1327, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Staffordshire", during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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