This is a French surname of ancient origins. It maybe topographical, in which case it describes somebody who came from a place in France called 'Cayet', or it maybe occupational and describe a farmer, and specifically one who bred wild boar, probably for hunting. The origination is from a pre 7th century Lyonnaise word 'caya', meaning boar, plus the diminutive 'ette' or 'et', which generally described 'son of'. The surname is well recorded in many different styles including Cayeu, Caye, Cayet, Cayatte, Cayette, and sometimes with the prefix 'De', a mark of aristocracy, normally associated with the ownership of estates. Early French register recordings are rather erratic, as many of the early books were destroyed in the 1793 revolution. Napoleon Bonaparte realising that control is achieved through bureaucracy as much or more so than by armed force, made great efforts during his reign from 1799 to 1815 to restore lost records, and it probably to him that we should be grateful for the following recordings. Anne Cayatte of Meurthe-et-Moselle on June 19th 1696, Jean Francois Cayatte, of Meuse, on March 15th 1699, and Nicholas Cayette, who confusingly was the son of Jean Cayet, christened on May 17th 1703 at Brillon-en-Barrois, Meuse, France. The coat of arms granted in Picardy, has the blazon of per pale, gold and blue, overall a red cross patonce. This suggests a person of great belief who served the king and state loyally. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Jean Francois Cayet, which was dated 1693, the registers of the town of Brillion, Meuse, France, during the reign of Emperor Louis X1V of France, reigned 1643 - 1715. 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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