The English surname Sykes, found mainly in Yorkshire, is a topographic name for someone who lived by a stream in a marsh or in a hollow, from the Middle English term syke meaning “ a marshy stream, or a damp gully,” or a habitational name from one of the places named with this word, in Lancashire and West Yorkshire. Early examples of the surname include: Roger del Sik (Norfolk, 1212); Richard del Sikes (Yorkshire, 1309); and Richard in le Syche (Staffordshire, 1332). The name is first recorded in the New World in 1642 when John Sykes settled in Virginia. Today there are approximately 26,000 bearers of the name Sykes living in the US.
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