Recorded as Wickham, Wykeham, Wycombe and the dialectals Wigam, Wiggam and Wigham, this is an English surname. It is locational from any one of the places called Wickham, Wycombe, or Wykeham in the counties of Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Hampshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire. Most of these places are recorded in the Saxon Chartulary of 821 - 974 a.d. as Wicham or Wichaema, and in the famous Domesday Book of 1086 as Wiceham and Wicham. However spelt in ancient text the meaning is generally a settlement (-ham) associated with a wic or Roman town, with wic being an adaptation of the Latin word vicus. Locational surnames are usually 'from' names. That is to say names given to people after they left their original homes, to move somewhere else. Dialects being thick and spelling indifferent, soon lead to the development of alternative spellings. The surname is first recorded as a byname in the 10th century:with that of Wulfric aet Wicham in the year 955. Other early examples include William de Wykeham of Yorkshire in 1305, and Walter Wykham of Gloucestershire in 1400. Richard Wickham of Kent, is listed in the register of the University of Oxford in 1594, whilst John Wigham appears in the register of St Andrews Holborn, on January 13th 1820. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Wikam. This was dated 1218, in the Feet of Fines of Oxfordshire, during the reign of King Henry 111rd of England, 1216 - 1272. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017