The surname of HICKMAN was a baptismal name 'the son of Hickmann'. The pedigree of the extinct baronet family Hickman, of Gainsborough is traced to Robert Fitz-Hickman, lord of the manors of Bloxham and Wickham, County Oxford during the reign of Henry III (1216-1272). Early records of the name include Hukeman de Moricebi, 1166 County Oxford. Hykeman (without surname) was recorded in County Oxford in the year 1279, and Richard Hykemon was documented in County Surrey in the same year. Walter Hikeman of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. The bulk of European surnames in countries such as England and France were formed in the 13th and 14th centuries. The process started earlier and continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the 11th century people did not have surnames, whereas by the 15th century they did.
Later instances of the name include a baptism of Elizabeth, the daughter of Edward Hickman at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in 1691. Daniell Hickman and Ann Pope were married at St. Michael, Cornhill, London in the year 1697. Many modern family names throughout Europe reflect the profession or occupation of their forbears in the Middle Ages and derive from the position held by their ancestors in the village, noble household or religious community in which they lived and worked. The addition of their profession to their birth name made it easier to identity individual tradesmen and craftsmen. As generations passed and families moved around, so the original identifying names developed into the corrupted but simpler versions that we recognise today. The origin of badges and emblems, are traced to the earliest times, although, Heraldry, in fact, cannot be traced later than the 12th century, or at furthest the 11th century. At first armorial bearings were probably like surnames and assumed by each warrior at his free will and pleasure, his object being to distinguish himself from others. It has long been a matter of doubt when bearing Coats of Arms first became hereditary. It is known that in the reign of Henry V (1413-1422), a proclamation was issued, prohibiting the use of heraldic ensigns to all who could not show an original and valid right, except those 'who had borne arms at Agincourt'. The College of Arms (founded in 1483) is the Royal corporation of heralds who record proved pedigrees and grant armorial bearings.
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