This name WICKENS was of two-fold origin, firstly it was a baptismal name 'the son of William' a pet form of Wilkin. Secondly it was a locational name 'the dweller by the wiken' a dairy farm, which probably meant the original bearer of the name was a worker at the farm. 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. There is also a place Wicken in County Essex, from where the name many have sprung.
Early records of the name mention Thomas de la Wikin who was recorded in County Norfolk in 1275, and Henry de Wikin appears in 1279 in Berkshire. Willelmus Wykyn of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379.
Johanna Wykyn, ibid, and Thomas Wikens was documented in County Lancashire in 1400.
Thomas, son of Samuell Wickins was baptised at St. Peter. Cornhill, London in 1667.
John Wicken and Isabel Mellen were married at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in the year 1678.
Edward Radclyff and Harriot Wicking were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1808.
Between the 11th and 15th centuries it became customary for surnames to be assumed in Europe, but were not commonplace in England or Scotland before the Norman Conquest of 1066. They are to be found in the Domesday Book of 1066. Those of gentler blood assumed surnames at this time, but it was not until the reign of Edward III (1327-1377) that second names became common practice amongst all people.
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