This unusual English name, which is also found as Wikes, Wicks, Wix, etc, can be either topographical or locational in origin. If the former, it denoted someone who lived in an outlying settlement attached to a larger village, the derivation being from the Old English pre 7th Century word "wic", itself from the Latin "vicus", meaning settlement, hamlet, dwelling-place or dairy farm. As a locational name it can derive from any of the places named with the Old English element "wic", such as Gatwick, the goat farm, Cheswick, the cheese farm or Greenwich, which may be the grass farm or could mean the green place. The early recordings include Margrett Weekes, christened at St Botolphs Church, Bishopgate, London on September 29th 1568, and John Weekes, christened at St Martins in the Field, Westminster on March 22nd 1570. An interesting recording is that of a John Weekes who was one of the earliest emigrants to the New World colonies of America, embarking from London on the ship "Primrose" on July 25th 1635, bound for Virginia. A Coat of Arms was granted to Francis Weekes of Devon in 1620, this being an ermine field, charged with three black battle axes. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Goscelin del Wich, which was dated 1184, in the Worcestershire Pipe Rolls, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154-1189. 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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