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Pixley Coat of Arms / Pixley Family Crest

The surname of PIXLEY is a variant of the name PICK and was derived from the Old French word 'pic' a nickname for one with the characteristics of a wood-pecker. The name is also spelt PICKSLEY, PICKESLY, PIC, PICKE and PICKE. 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. Richard Philip Pick was baptised at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in 1668. 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 name was also occasionally used as an occupational name for someone who made or used a pick or pickaxe as an agricultural or excavating tool, from the middle English word PIC, but in this instance the meaning did not occur until the 15th century. It was not until the 10th century that modern hereditary surnames first developed, and the use of fixed names spread, first to France, and then England, then to Germany and all of Europe. In these parts of Europe, the individual man was becoming more important, commerce was increasing and the exact identification of each man was becoming a necessity. Even today however, the Church does not recognise surnames. Baptisms and marriages are performed through use of the Christian name alone. Thus hereditary names as we know them today developed gradually during the 11th to the 15th century in the various European countries.

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Last Updated: May 9, 2020

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