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Whichmann Coat of Arms / Whichmann Family Crest

The surname of WICHMANN was of the occupational group of surnames 'the WICMANN' one who worked at the dairy-farm. The small villages of Europe, or royal and noble households, even large religious dwellings and monasteries, gave rise to many family names, which reflected the occupation or profession of the original bearer of the name. The earliest of the name on record appears to be EWICMAN (without surname) who was listed as a tenant-in-chief in the Domesday Book. Many of the early names recorded in medieval documents denote noble families but many also indicate migration from the continent during, and in the wake of, the Norman invasion of 1066. There was a constant stream of merchants, workmen and others arriving in England during this time. In 1086 the Record of Great Inquisition of lands of England, their extent, value, ownership and liabilities was made by order of William The Conqueror. It is known as the Domesday book. Other records of the name mention Herbertus filius Wycmanni, recorded in 1140 in County Norfolk, and Vxor Wickmanni appears in 1170 in Lincolnshire. William Wikeman was recorded in 1209 in Norfolk, and Richard Wyvman was documented in 1275. William Wicmann of County Somerset, was recorded during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377) and Edward Whickman of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error. Among the humbler classes of European society, and especially among illiterate people, individuals were willing to accept the mistakes of officials, clerks and priests as officially bestowing a new version of their surname, just as they had meekly accepted the surname they had been born with. In North America, the linguistic problems confronting immigration officials at Ellis Island in the 19th century were legendary as a prolific source of Anglicization.

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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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