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This most interesting surname of Norman origin may derive from three possible sources. Firstly, it may come from the Norman personal name "Richold" which is composed of the Germanic elements "ric", power and "wald", rule. Secondly its origin may have been the female personal name "Ricolda", from the Germanic elements "ric", power plus "hild", battle. Finally "Record", may have originated from the Norman personal name "Richward", from the Germanic elements "ric", and "ward", guard. All of these personal names were introduced into England by the Normans, after the Conquest of 1066; none of them became particularly popular, and were confused early on. The surname itself first appears in records circa the early 12th Century (see below). Walter Rykeward was noted in 1275 in the Hundred Rolls of Norfolk and Roger Record was mentioned in 1393 in the Index to Wills proved in the Consistory Court of Norwich. John Records was christened on April 12th 1604 at Old Fish Street, London. Robert Recorde (1510 - 1558) discovered the method of extracting the square root of multinomial algebraic expressions and was the first to use the sign =. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Rikeward, which was dated circa 1100, in the "Documents Illustrative of the Social and Economic History of Danelaw", during the reign of King Henry 1st, known as "The Lion of Justice", 1100 -1135. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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