This unusual name is locational and derives from the area in Shropshire, known as 'The Wrekin'. For a relatively unusual name there are an amazing number of variant spellings, although it is rare to find a recording under the place name spelling, oddly enough the only one concerns Elizabeth Wreking, christened on the 3rd of March 1750 at the St. Pancras Foundling Hospital, suggesting that this spelling was a random selection taken from a list of place names. Other spelling variants of the name include Ann Ricking of Fleet Street recorded in 1678, Christina Ricken who married John St. Clare at St. Agnes Aldersgate in 1705 and Francis Reeken, a witness at St. Dunstans, Stepney in 1765. The word 'Wrekin' derives from old English 'Wreocen' (The dwellers by the Castle). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Samuel Rickine, which was dated 1652, christened at St. John Zachary, London on December 7th, during the reign of Oliver Cromwell, 'The Lord Protector', 1650 - 1658. 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.