Recorded in the spellings of Begg, Beggs, Beig, Bege, and originally Beg, this unusual name is of Scottish origin. Sometimes also recorded in Northern Ireland, it was a nickname or a byname for a small person. The derivation is from the pre 10th century Gaelic word "beag" meaning little or small of stature and was a descriptive nickname for the original bearer or bearers. Given the robust humour of the medieval period the meaning should be exercied wsith caution as it may well have meant the absolute reverse! Early examples of the surname recordings taken from surviving rolls and charters of the medieval period include Malise Beg, recorded as being a burgess of the city of Stirling in the year 1300 and John Beg, who was employed in the construction of Cardross Castle in 1329. Other developments of the name include John Bege in Edinburgh in 1574 and Robert Beig, a follower of the Marquiss of Huntlie in 1600, with Margaret Begg, the daughter of James and Janet Begg being christened in Falkirk, Scotland, on May 1st 1644. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Malcolm Begge. He was the seneschal of Maldoweny, and earl of Levenax. He is recorded in the Records of Levenax, during the reign of King Alexander 11nd of Scotland, 1214 - 1249. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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