This interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is locational from Wicksted in Cheshire. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "wic", a farm, especially a dairy farm, with "stede"; hence, "the site of a building, a homestead or farmstead". An early variant spelling is Wixsted (1542), and other variants include: Whicksteed, Wicksteed, Wyksted and Wicksted. During the Middle Ages, when it was becoming increasingly common for people to leave their native villages, generally to seek work elsewhere, they would often adopt the placename as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the names. Early recordings from Cheshire Church Registers include: the marriage of Gaspard Wickstead and Margaret Wickstead on December 11th 1607, at St. Oswalde's Chester, and the marriage of John Wickstead and Jane Bramall on September 28th 1620, at Wynbunbury. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is a silver shield, on a bend azure between two Cornish choughs black, three gold garbs. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Wickstid, which was dated April 23rd 1540, recorded at Nantwich, Cheshire, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Good King Hal", 1509 - 1547. 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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