Recorded as Wick, Wicks, Wickes, Wike, Wyke, Whyke, Wickey, Wixey, Wikey, and possibly others, this is an English and sometimes Scottish, surname. It can be either topographical or locational. 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 a settlement. This word was later used to denote either a hamlet, a single dwelling-place or even a dairy farm. As a locational name it can derive from any of the places called Wick or Wike in the counties of Berkshire, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Worcestershire and Yorkshire, Wick in Scotland, and Wykey in Shropshire. Locational surnames are often 'from' names. That is to say names given to people after they left their original homesteads to move somewhere else. The easiest way to identify these strangers , was to call them by the name of the place from whence they came, Spelling being at best erratic and local dialects very thick, soon lead to the development of 'sounds like' spellings. Early examples of the surname recordings in surviving registers and charters include Henry de la Wyke of Oxford in the Hundred Rolls of 1273, Sir Janes de Weik of Wick in Caithness, Scotland in 1456, Jone Wikey at St Giles Cripplegate, in the city of London on september 1st 1668, and James Wixey at the famous church of St Mary-le-Bone on Boxing Day, 1773. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Goscelin del Wich. This was dated 1184, in the Worcestershire Pipe Rolls, during the reign of King Henry 11nd, 1154-1189. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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