Recorded in many spellings although most are quite rare, this is an English medieval metronymic diminutive of the personal names Ann or Anne. In other words the name originated not from a husband but from a wife and mother, one who was probably a landowner in her own right. The ultimate origination is howver from the Greek name Hagnos, meaning pure and sacred, and it was mainly introduced into Northern Europe by the returning Crusaders knights after their many expeditions to try to free the Holy Land in the 12th century. The surname spellings today include the rare Yorkshire spellings of Annakin and Annekin, with the English suffix "kin" meaning very close relative (son) of, or Annatt, Annett, Annott, with a short form of the French suffix "petit," as well as the patronymics Ankins, Anetts, and Annis, the dialectal Hankin and others. The name Agnes is from the 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, Annes and Annote with for instance Johannes Annekin being recorded in Yorkshire in the year 1219, and John Annot in the Subsidy Tax Rolls of Cambridgeshire in 1327. Other later recordings from London church registers include: the christening of Judith Aniet, on November 8th 1573, at St. Ann's Blackfriars; and the marriage of Henry Annett and Ann Ratlif on May 12th 1605, at St. Martin Pomeroy's. 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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