VICKAR was a locational name 'the dweller at the vicars house from residence therein'. The name was derived from the Old Latin word VICARIUS, and was originally used to denote someone who carried out pastoral duties on behalf of an absentee holder of a benefice. It became a regular word for a parish priest because in practice most benefice-holders were absentees. 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, as is the case here. 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. Early records of the name mention Peter atte Vicars, listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. William Vickers of County Lancashire was documented in the year 1389, and Edward Vickary appears in Yorkshire in 1400. Later instances of the name mention, Baptised. John Vicars, at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in 1655. Francis Vickers married Elizabeth Lamden at St. Peter, Cornhill, London in 1689.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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