Recorded as Beagan, Beagen, Beggan, Biggin, Biggins and possibly others, this is an English medieval surname. It is locational from the places called Biggin in England, such as Biggin Hill in Kent or Biggin village in Huntingdonshire. The derivation is from the Old Norse word "byggia" or the later Middle English 'bigging' meaning a building. It is a derivative of the word "big", meaning to build . In the far noth of England the name came to denote an outbuilding, and the term is still used in the counties of Northumberland and Cumbria. The surname was first recorded in the late 14th century (see below), and other early examples include William atte Byggyngge in the Placenames of Cambridgeshire in 1397. Other later recordings include 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. This was dated 1391, in the Register of the Freemen of the City of York, during the reign of King Richard 11nd of England, but known as Richard of Bordeaux, 1377-1399. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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