This unusual name has two possible origins, the first being from the pet form of Richard, "Dick" which was often recorded as "Dike" and thence, Deek and Deke. As late as 1728, Dickins is recorded as Deekins. The suffix "s" is the patronymic form, meaning "son of" - in this instance - Richard. The second origin is topographical and denotes someone who lived by a ditch or a dyke, deriving from the Old English pre 7th century "dic", meaning "dyke" or "earthwork". In medieval times dykes were larger and more prominent than the modern ditch and usually served defensive rather than drainage purposes. In the modern idiom the name has a variety of spellings ranging from: Deackes, Deeks, and Deekes to Deex and Deetch. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Dike. which was dated 1195, in the "Suffolk Pipe Rolls". during the reign of Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart" 1189 - 1199. 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.