Guild of One-Name Studies
One-name studies, Genealogy
The registered variants of the name are Veck, Vicke, Vik, Vyck, and Vycke. LeVick was already registered for a one-name study though it is a variant. Other possible variants include Fick, Ficke, Fecke, Veack, Veak, Veake, Veckes, Veeck, Veecks, Veke, Vesgue, Vesk, Vesque, Vic, Vicks, Vicq, Vieck, Viek, Viik, and Viks.
Mac Vick, MacVick, and McVick also appear in various records in Scotland, Canada, and the U.S.
"The Dictionary of English Surnames" by Reaney and Wilson says that the Vick surname is a variant of Veck. Veck comes from the Old French name le Eveske meaning the bishop. Dr. Andrew Millard told me "Vic is found as a placename and a surname in France, with the surname concentrated in two areas: around Vic-en-Bigorre in the Pyrenees, and in the Département de l'Hérault, around Montpelier. Given the historical links between England and Aquitaine (which included Bigorre) there is the possibility of a connection with English VICKs."
"Dictionary of American Family Names" edited by Patrick Hanks says "Vick is an English nickname or metonymic occupational name, from Anglo-Norman French l'eveske 'the bishop', which was wrongly taken for le vesk. This in turn became Vesk, and later Veck or Vick. 2. North German variant of FICK."
"New Dictionary of American Family Names" by Elsdon C. Smith states "Vick, Vicks (Eng. Wel.) one who came from Vicq (village), the name of various places in France, the small man."
Hudson John Powell found what may indicate a locational origin of the Vick surname in England. Mr. Powell found an entry in 'Abstracts of feet of fines relating to Gloucestershire 1199-1299' (The Bristol & Gloucestershire Archaeological Society; Gloucestershire Record Series Vol. 16; Edited by C.R. Elrington; 2003; ISBN 0 900197 58 7) that references John de Wyk (Wick) of Randwick (page 185, entry number 913 for the year 1287). Dr. Andrew Millard said "The Old English term for a settlement or a market or trading place was wic pronounced either witch (as in Ispwich) or wick (as in Hardwick)." Dr. Millard said the "de means 'He is of' Wyk, which could mean he lives there, or his ancestors did, or that he is lord of the place. There are a number of places with this name in Gloucestershire and neighbouring counties." Dr. Millard also said "As most medieval legal documents in England were written in Medieval French or Medieval Latin, it is frequently used in them where in everyday speech the Middle English 'of' or 'at' might have been used, as well as a direct transcription of what was spoken in the names of the nobility who used French as their first language. So someone described as 'de molendarius', meaning 'of the mill', probably had a spoken name 'at Mill' or 'Miller'. 'de' as a prefix to surnames formed from English words rarely, if ever, became part of the name. So John De Wyk's decendants, if they inherited his name, probably did not use 'of Wyk', but just Wyk. Eventually this is reflected in Latin documents, as scribes wrote what they were told. If a man was stated to be called John of Wyk, it was written down as Johannes de Wyk, but his descendant a few generations later when surnames had become fixed, would be called John Wyk and recorded in written Latin as Johannes Wyk."
Mr. Powell also found the following on page 81 of "A History of Standish Gloucestershire:" "Two other small transactions are of local interest. In 1549, William Sawle and William Bridges paid into the Court of Augmentations (a sort of clearing-house for Monastic plunder) the sum of £1,228 16s. 6d., in exchange for sundry properties, including 'the land, one acre, called Norfeld in Randwicke, within Standishe, in the tenure of Thomas Wike, given to a lamp in the Parish Church (of Standish)' and also 'the land, one acre in Alkeley Felde, in Hardewicke, in tenure of Thomas Haresfeld, given to a lamp in the Parish Church.' In the Hardwicke Return this appears as 'Certein land given to finde a lamp there. To the yerelie value of xjd., the whole (now) Distributed to the poor.' Is (sic) is probable that the name Wike became Vicke a century later." Mr. Powell believes it is probable that this Thomas Wike is the Thomas Veke that was buried in Randwick in 1574.
A Thomas Vick had a son named James (born about 1575 in Randwick). According to Mr. Powell, James married Elizabeth Myll. Mr. Powell also found that "Men & Armour for Gloucestershire in 1608," by John Smith (Republished by Alan Sutton; 1980; ISBN/ISSN: 0904387496) lists on page 308 "under Oxlinge (Oxlinch) James Bycke, mason one pike. Also listed is John Bycke his servant." Mr. Powell also found on page 199 of "A History of Standish Gloucestershire" the following "...Elizabeth Vick did not surrender her interest in the place till 10th May, 1642; she was the widow of James Vycke, mason to Sir Ralph Dutton" and on page 200 "By an earlier grant, James Vicke of Oxlinche in Randwicke, masson, had handed over lands to Sir Ralph, including Conygeare, Greate Combe, and Calfestyles Grove, and on 10th May, 1642, Elizabeth Vick, his widow had surrendered a pasture called Cleve (p. 149), and a little grove in Oxlinche."
The quotes Mr. Powell found show how the surname Wyk could have evolved to Wike, Veke, Vycke, Vicke, and Vick. However, Dr. Millard said "As to whether this could be the origin of the name, I am doubtful. To get from a place called Wick to the surname Vick requires a W to V sound transition that I think is unlikely in an English context...." Dr. Millard said further, "The letter W in an English context, from as far back as the first written Old English, is pronounced as it is today."
The Vick surname may also have arisen independently in Sussex and Hampshire. A John Ficke was christened on June 30, 1650, in Compton, Sussex, England according to the International Genealogical Index (IGI). The IGI also says a Jhon Veick was christened on October 12, 1593, in Saint Maurice, Winchester, Hampshire, England. The 1841 Census of England shows three clusters of Vicks in England. The largest is in Gloucestershire (53 percent), followed by Hampshire (18 percent) and Sussex (14 percent). The remaining Vicks (15 percent) were scattered across ten other counties.
According to information from The Isle of Man Family History Society, Vick on the Isle of Man is derived from Ficke. All the Fickes on the Isle of Man prior to 1850 appear to be descendants of Johann Danael Ficke who was originally of Lubeck. He married Elizabeth Stone/Oliver of Peel in Germany on April 9, 1761. "Vick was used post 1820 as John Fick was given as John Vick in Malew." A Fick family in Canada traces its origins to Johhan on the Isle of Mann.
Dr. Rita Heuser of Johannes Gutenberg-Universitat Mainz wrote "The surname of Vick definitely goes back to a person's name, namely the Old Germanic name of Friedrich. It displays the dithematic structure typical for Germanic names, combining the parts fridu- 'peace' and -rihhi 'mighty, powerful'. Those names were in Germanic times probably meant as a kind of metaphorical blessing for the child. By sound change and regional orthographic conventions, Friedrich became Vick/Fick in some areas... A broad variety of surname variants emerged from the Germanic name of Friedrich, e.g. Fick(e), Vicke, Feck(e)." Roger Kenneth Vick's great great grandfather, Hans Christian Fredericksen, lived on the boarder of Denmark and Germany. Hans' son, Hans Peter, took the Vick surname. Hans Peter died in Saskatchewan, Canada.
Vik is a Norwegian word meaning an inlet or cove. There are at least four cities in Norway with the name Vik - Buskerud, Nordland, Rogaland, and Sogn Og Fjordane.
Based upon U.S. Census Bureau estimates, there were about 21,140 people with the surname Vick in the U.S. in 2007. Vicks comprised about .007 percent of the U.S. population. According to the website Behind the Name Vick is ranked 1,912 out of 88,799 surnames in the U.S.
Using the German Telekom's telephone extensions from the year 1995, Dr. Rita Heuser of Johannes Gutenberg-Universitat Mainz estimated there were 1,702 actual bearers of the Vick surname in Germany, or about .002 percent of the German population. The website verdandt.de in February 2008 showed 540 directory entries or about 1,440 persons with the Vick surname.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) database says there were about 1,147 people with the surname Vick in England, Wales, and the Isle of Mann in September 2002, or about .002 percent of that population. In 1881, there were about 776.
Canadian White Pages contained 120 household listings for Vick in 2007. At 2.8 members per household, there would have been about 336 surnamed Vicks in Canada, or about .001 percent of the Canadian population.
The Australian White Pages had 107 listings for Vick in 2007. Using 2.8 members per household, that would equate to about 300 Vicks, or about .001 percent of the population in Australia.
In New Zealand there were 13 Vicks in the White Pages. At 2.8 members per household there would be about 36 Vicks, or less than .001 percent of the population of New Zealand.
There were 11 telephone listings for the surname Vick in Spain in June 2009, according to dynastree. The estimated number of people with the Vick surname was 12.
The website dynastree showed Switzerland had five telephone listings for Vick in June 2009, and an estimated 13 people named Vick.
There was one Vick household listed in the White Pages in South Africa.
Geogen, a surname mapping website, found only one Vick household in Austria.
According to the National Trust, in 1881 the largest concentration of people in the U.K. with the Vick surname was in Gloucestershire. The next largest concentrations were in Hampshire and Isle of Wight. The 1891 England and Wales census shows 35 percent of VICKs lived in Gloucestershire, 12 percent lived in Hampshire, and 9 percent lived in London.
U.S. Census records for 1880 show people with the Vick surname were most concentrated in the following states (percent of total Vicks in the U.S.): North Carolina (21 percent), Tennessee (10 percent), Texas (9 percent), and Kentucky (8 percent).
Based upon telephone listings the Vick surname is most concentrated today in the following states (percent of Vicks in the U.S.):
North Carolina (12 percent),
Texas (12 percent),
California (6 percent),
Alabama (5 percent),
and Virginia (4 percent).
In Germany the greatest frequency of Vick is in the north in the area between Hamburg and Schwerin. verdandt.de shows the following concentration of Vicks in Germany based upon directory entries:
The 1911 Census of Canada lists 147 people with the surname VICK. Of those, 74 (50 percent) lived in Ontario, 24 (16 percent) lived in British Columbia, and 22 (15 percent) lived in Saskatchewan.
"A History of Standish Gloucestershire" by H.T. Lilley (Charpentier Ltd; 1932)
Gloucestershire Family History Society Journal, Issues 1 to 100 with Indexes 1979 - 2004
"Joseph Vick of Lower Parish, Isle of Wight County, Virginia and His Descendants" (Los Angeles; Genus Publishing, 2004). ISBN 0-9748672-0-9
"Reverend Newit Vick Founder of Vicksburg, Mississippi" by James M. Perrin (Hammond; The Author, 1990)
"Nitta Yuma King Cotton" by Mrs. Henry Vick Phelps (Dorothy Cole) and Henry Vick Phelps II (The Authors, 1974)
Vick Family Newsletter. Volumes I-XXI. The Joseph Vick Family of America
The Vick Y-DNA Surname Project has identified nine major Vick clans in eight haplogroups. These clans trace their ancestry to England, Germany, Denmark, Norway, and in the U.S. to Virginia, and Alabama.
In October 2011, the Vick Y-DNA Surname Project had 68 male members. Sixty-three were born in America, two were born in England, one was born in Canada, one (whose surname was Wicks) was born in Australia, and one whose maternal ancestor was a Fick was born in Germany. While one man did not formally join the project, his test results were in the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation Y-DNA database. A female Vick also joined the project, but because she does not have a Y chromosome, she is using mitochondrial DNA to trace her maternal line (non-Vick).
There is also a Vick and Allied Families DNA project that uses autosomal DNA testing. This new type of test was first offered by 23andMe. The test examines DNA from all 23 pairs of chromosomes. Eighteen Vicks and forty-five men and women who are either a Vick descendant or a member of an allied family (including spouses) have been tested by 23andMe. Family Tree DNA has offered a similar tool and one of the VICKs who has been tested by 23andMe is also being tested by FTDNA. The new project augments the existing Vick Y-DNA Surname Project. So far all of the project members are part of the Joseph Vick of Isle of Wight County, Virginia, clan or an allied family.
Vick Family History Blog
Vick One-Name Study Facebook Group
Vick One-Name Study GenealogyWise Group
Joseph Vick Family of America GenealogyWise Group
Joseph Vick Family of America Facebook Group
Vick Reunion Facebook Group
The Joseph Vick Family of America Website
Vick Y-DNA Surname Project
DNA Ancestry Vick Surname Group
RootsWeb.com Vick Surname Message Board
Genealogy.com Vick Surname Message Board
Linkpendium Vick Family
World Names Profiler
Surnames of England and Wales
Interview on The Campbell Brown Show on CNN that aired in the U.S. on December 2, 2009
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