Last name: Hammett
This is an interesting example of how a name may be a combination of both the personal and the topographical. "Ham-et" was a diminutive form of the Norman personal name "Hamo(n)", plus "ette" from the French "Petit" meaning small or little. Thus the name would have been given to mean "son of Hamo". The prefix "Ham" may also be interpreted from the Anglo-Saxon "Ham" meaning flat, alluvial wetlands, so that Hammett would refer to "the son of one who lived by or near a low lying meadow". The variant Hamatt is seen in the record of the christening of the infant Susan Hammatt at St. Botolph without Aldgate London. On April 18th 1729, George Hammett married Elizabeth Hughson at St. Dunstan, Stepney, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Hamet, which was dated 1297, Ministers Accounts of the Earldom of Cornwall, during the reign of King Edward I, The Hammer of the Scots, 1272 - 1307. 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.
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