Big fan of the wonderful Cockney Actor? Why not treat yourself to Michael Caine's Family Tree. See 200 years of Michael's ancestors; were they always Londoners, what did they do for a living, and did they serve their country in the Military. All this and more in Michael's Family Tree.
The name originates from the village of Micklethwaite a township and a village near Bingley in Yorkshire. How long ago Michael Caine’s particular branch migrated south is not clear, but as they made they travelled towards London the name lost its northern pronunciation and took on a more southern English sound.
By the early 19th century the family were working as Horsekeepers in Highgate in London, and the name was still pronounced as something approaching Micklethwaite, slightly changed to Micklethwhite, then by the mid 19th century, the cockney accent changed it to Micklethwhite and then into Micklewhite (“th” being pronounced as “f” in Cockney and therefore making the “fw” sound harder to pronounce than the “thw” sound), with various spellings and pronunciations in different branches of the family such as Michelthwaite, Mickelthwaite, Micklethwaite, Micklethwait depending on who pronounced it and who wrote it down for them.
By the 20th century there were still closely related branches of the family in the same areas of South London, using the “th” whilst others didn’t. However with the coming of mass basic education for the working classes at the end of the 19th century, the surname would have become fixed during the following decades of the early 20th century to the way that the childrens’ teachers told them to spell it, and would remain fairly unchanged from then onwards, apart of course, from Maurice Micklewhite changing his name to Michael Caine.
Michael Caine Family Detail
Michael Caine Family Tree