Last name: Foote

Recorded in the spellings of Foot and Foote, this is a famous surname, formerly recorded throughout England, but probably most associated in the 19th and 20th centuries with the West Country of England. It is believed to have pre 7th century Norse-Viking origins, to derive from the word "fotr", and to have been descriptive and possibly occupational for a fast runner or a messenger, one "fleet of foot". In the later medieval period, known for its "robust humour", the name may also have been at times a cruel nickname for a person with a deformed foot, but this was certainly not the original meaning. Indeed had the "nickname" been the general meaning, it is difficult to see how it could have survived as a surname. What is clear is that the recordings of the name go as far back as written history permits, with examples such as Robert Fot in the Pipe Rolls of the county of Yorkshire in the year 11666, and Seild Fot in the Curia Regis rolls of Hampshire in 1212. The earliest known recording, and one which pre-dates most other surname recordings by at least two centuries, is that of Goduin Fot, in the 1086 Domesday Book for Kent and Cheshire. This man was a close follower of King William 1st, known as "The Conqueror", 1066 - 1087.

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