This medieval English surname is one of a group which can be locational or job-descriptive, or even both. "Wickens" derives from one of a number of places mainly in South East England called Wicken or Wickens, which may describe a dairy farm or one who works at such a place, or, more romantically, the lair of a pirate, which is certainly the case with Wickens in Kent. In both cases the origin is Olde English, the dairy-farm being originally "wicum", the home of the pirates "vicing" - the latter an Anglicization of "Viking", and no doubt graphically describing the feelings of the local population. The Domesday book of 1086 records several names which may have developed into the later "Wickens"; these include Wikingus of Suffolk, and Wichin of Devon, with later recordings including Richard Wyking of Kent in 1456, and Thomas Wekyn of the same county in 1505. Church recordings include: Elizabeth Wickens, who married Simon Wogdon at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London, on July 23rd 1629, and John Wickens, who was christened at Manchester Cathedral, Lancashire, on September 15th 1650, during the administration of Oliver Cromwell (1649 - 1658). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas de la Wikin, which was dated 1275, in the "Hundred Rolls of Norfolk", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the 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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