Recorded in a wide variety of forms including Agg, Agge, Aggs, Aggas, Aggass, Aggis, Aggus, and the Latinized Agius, this unusual surname is probably of Greek origins. It is either the vernacular form of the female personal name 'Agatha', meaning 'the learned one' , the original derivation being from the Greek 'agathos', or it is from the pre 7th century Danish-Viking 'Aggi', another personal name which itself may have derived from the Greek. The first known Agatha was martyred in the 3rd century, and her miraculous veil, now in the church of Catania, in Sicily, is believed to be a defence against the eruptions of Mount Etna. It is perhaps fitting that St. Agatha is the patron saint for protection from fire. The name was popular throughout Europe during the Middle Ages, and was probably introduced by Crusaders returning from the Holy Land. In those days it was usually found, as a personal name only, in spelling of the French 'Agace' or Italian 'Agacia'. What is certain is that it was an early recording, Simon filius Agge, or Simon the son of Agge, being recorded at Lincoln in the Pipe Rolls of 1195. Other recordings from later charters include Roger Agace, in the 1275 Hundred Rolls of Worcester, and Thomas Agus of London in 1480. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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