The surname of PIKE is of two-fold origin, and was derived from the Old French word 'pic' a nickname for one with the characteristics of a wood-pecker. It was also an occupational name for someone who made or used a pickaxe as an agricultural or excavating tool. Occupational surnames originally denoted the actual occupation followed by the individual. At what period they became hereditary is a difficult problem. Many of the occupation names were descriptive and could be varied. In the Middle Ages, at least among the Christian population, people did not usually pursue specialized occupations exclusively to the extent that we do today, and they would, in fact, turn their hand to any form of work that needed to be done, particularly in a large house or mansion, or on farms and smallholdings. In early documents, surnames often refer to the actual holder of an office, whether the church or state. The name is also spelt PYKE, PICQ, PIQUE, PICHER, PEEK, PICON and PICONE. The name was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion and in England early records of the name mention Aluric Alwinus Pic, who was listed as a tenant-in-chief in the Domesday Book of 1086. Alexander le Pik, was a fishmonger and owner of a ship in 1292, and recorded in London and in Surrey. Simon Pic was documented in the year 1273 in County Suffolk. Thomas Pic of County Somerset, was recorded during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377 and Ralph le Pikke of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Later instances of the name mention Richard Philip Pick who was baptised at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in 1668 and Leonard, son of Thomas Picken was baptised at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in the year 1721. The earliest hereditary surnames in England are found shortly after the Norman Conquest of 1066 and are of Norman French origin rather than native English. On the arrival of the Normans they identified themselves by references to the estates from which they came from in northern France. These names moved rapidly on with their bearers into Scotland and Ireland. Others of the Norman Invaders took names from the estates in England which they had newly acquired. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884
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