Last name: Jewett

This unusual and interesting name is of early medieval English origin, and derives directly from the Middle English male given name "Juwet, Jowet", in the feminine "Juwette, Jowette". These given names are diminutive forms, with the Anglo-Norman suffix "-et(te)", of "Juwe, Jowe", themselves variant forms of "Jull", a short, pet form of the personal name Julian; all of these were borne by both men and women. Julian itself was adapted from the Latin "Iulianus", a derivative of "Iulius", a Roman family name thought to be from the name of the supreme god of the Romans, "Iuppiter"; the god's name is akin to the words for "sky", "light", and "day". The given name Julian was borne by a number of early saints, and its popularity is proven by the great variety of derivative surnames it has generated. Early examples of the given name include: "Juetta" (1201); "Joetta" (1219); and "Juwete" (1227): among early surname recordings are William Jouet (1299, Staffordshire); Richard Jouot (1300, ibid.); Robert Jowet (1379, Yorkshire); and Thomas Jewitt, listed in the Register of the Guild of the Corpus Christi in the City of York in 1488. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Juet, which was dated 1279, in the "Hundred Rolls of Huntingdonshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "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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