This interesting surname, with variant spellings Annatt, Annett, Annetts, Annott and Annis, is of early medieval English origin, and derives from the Middle English vernacular form of the female given name "Agnes". The name Agnes comes from the Greek word "hagnos", meaning pure or sacred, and was borne by an early Christian saint, a twelve-year-old Roman girl who was martyred for her Christian belief in the time of Diocletian. In early recordings the name was often written as Annis, Annice or Annes. One Annote Resthanbe was registered in Yorkshire in 1297. The surname was first recorded in the late 13th Century, and early recordings of the variants of the surname include John Annot, who was registered in the Subsidy Rolls of Cambridgeshire in 1327. Recordings from London Church Registers include: the christening of Juidith, daughter of Nicholes Anite, on November 8th 1573, at St. Ann's, Blackfriars, and the christening of Elizabeth, daughter of Nicolai and Elizabethae Annett, on September 30th 1673, at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Anot, which was dated 1275, in the "Court Rolls of the Manor of Wakefield", Yorkshire, 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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