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The surname Vickerstaff

The surname Vickerstaff is of Anglo-Saxon origin originating from the small village of Bickerstaffe in Lancashire North West England, J3 of the M58 motorway is close by.

At the time of the Norman Conquest the area was held by one lord Uctred of Roby and named Achetun, the name seems to indicate that the area was originally a part of what is now Aughton, to the west.

In 1190 the place name is recorded as 'Bikerstad' and then in 1226 became 'Bikerstath'. The name is derived from from the Old English 'beocere' meaning bee keeper and 'staeth' which may mean an area where hives were kept.

During the Middle Ages people often took their village name as a means of identification when travelling, for example Nash of Bickerstaffe hence the wide dispersal of a surname name. Strong local dialects and lack of education led to the various spellings of the name

Over the years and before most people could spell or even write many variations of the name were adopted including Bickerstaff, Vickerstaff, Bickerstaffe and Vickerstaffe.

The spellings Vickerstaff, Vickarstaff (and with an e appended) probably originated in the south of England, the V replacing the B in the same way that V replaces F in Venn which is the southern spelling of Fenn.

The first recorded spelling of the family name is Alan de Birkestad, dated 1246, in the Assize Court Rolls of Lancashire.

Surnames became a necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. Throughout the centuries, surnames have continued to develop often leading to surprising misspellings of the original name.

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Surname Vickerstaff, Bickerstaff,Bickerstaffe and Vickerstaffe
are of Anglo-Saxon origin originating from the village of Bickerstaffe