This interesting surname, with variant spellings Vicars, Viccars and Vickars, has two possible origins. Firstly, it may be a patronymic surname for the "son of a vicar", deriving from the Middle English "vicare", plus the possessive ending "s". Vicare was originally used to denote someone who carried out pastoral duties on behalf of the absentee holder of a benefice, and later became a regular word for a parish priest because in practice most benefice-holders were absentees. The final "s" however may also mean "servant of", and would therefore be an occupational surname for one who worked for a vicar. The surname was first recorded in the early half of the 14th Century (see below). Recordings from London Church Registers include: the christening of Francis, son of William Vickers, on October 4th 1559, at Christ Church, Grey Friars, Newgate; the christening of William, son of Launcelot Vickers, on November 27th 1562, at St. Mary, Woolnoth; and the marriage of William Vickers and Margaret Hobson, on July 6th 1570, at St. Mary Somerset. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Wiliam del Vickers, 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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