Last name: Largent

Recorded in several spelling forms including L'argent, Largent, Argent, Argente, Arghent, Argont, and Argontt, this interesting surname has a number of possible origins, all French. The use of the word "argent" was introduced into England at the time of the Norman Conquest of 1066, when for several centuries thereafter French was the official language. It derives from the Latin "argentum" meaning silver. As such it may have been used in medieval times either as a nickname for someone with silvery grey hair, at a time when few people lived past forty, or as an occupational name for a worker in silver, or in France as a topographical name for someone who lived near a silver mine. In addition there are several French towns and villages called Argent, and the surname may derive from any of these. Confusingly it may also derive from either of the places called Argens, in the departments of Aude and Bassey-Alpes. Here the derivation is from the Roman personal name "Argenteus" which also has the general meaning of "silvery". In England where the earliest examples of the surname recording are to be found, examples include John Largeant in the Subsidy Rolls of the county of Suffolk in 1524, and Thomas Argent, a christening witness on April 18th 1619 at St. Andrew's church, Enfield, in Middlesex. The first recorded spelling of the family name is probably that of Geoffrey Argent. This was dated 1180, in the "Pipe Rolls" of Northamptonshire", during the reign of King Henry 11nd, 1154 - 1189. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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