This interesting and unusual name is a variant of Biggin, which is a locational name from any of the various places in England, including Biggin in Huntingdonshire. The name derives from the Northern Middle English 'bigging' building, or dwelling-place, a derivative of 'big' to build, identical to the Old Norse 'byggia'. The name came to denote an outbuilding and it is still used in Northumberland and Cumberland. The surname was first recorded in the late 14th Century (see below). One William atte Byggyngge appears in the Placenames of Cambridgeshire, 1397. The modern surname can be found as Biggin, Biggins, Biggen, Biggans and Beagan. Among the sample recordings in Lancashire is the marriage of Martin Beagan and Arabella Duncan on May 23rd 1807 at Manchester Cathedral. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas del Biggyng, which was dated 1391, Register of the Freemen of the City of York, during the reign of King Richard 11, 'Richard of Bordeaux', 1377-1399. 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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