Recorded as Wichard, Wychard, Wytchard, Wychards, Wicher, and no doubt others, this is an English surname. It has several possible origins. The first is occupational and describes a maker of 'hwicce' or chest, a very important piece of furniture in ancient times. Secondly it could be residential and describe a dweller by a 'wic'. This is usually given to mean a dairy farm, although it can have other meanings such as a landing stage, or simply a house. Thirdly and again residential it may describe a dweller by wych-elm, as in Richard atte Wycheheye, Wiltshire in 1332. As shown below the surname is first recorded in the late 12th century, whilst other early examples include Richard Wicher in the Hundred Rolls of Bedfordshire in 1279, and Robert le Wiccher in the list of Middle English Surnames of occupationin 1288. Later church register recordings include Elizabeth Wicher christened at St. Margarets Westminster, on January 7th 1603, while at Lechlede in Gloucester, Charles Wychard married Eliza Sandy on April 8th, 1614, and Sarah Wichard married Henry Lond at Dymock, Gloucester on December 1st 1867. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Wicher. This was was dated 1176, Pipe Rolls of Berkshire, during the reign of King Henry 11, "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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