Recorded in a number of spellings including Colquete, Colquit, Colquitt, Colquyte, and Colquite, this rare and unusual name is English, but probably of French medieval origins. It seems to be first recorded in England in the above forms at the end of the 16th Century, and as such may be one of the earliest recordings of a Huguenot refugee surname. The origination is probably from the French heraldic surnames "Colet, Collett, or Colliquet", the later being recorded in the department of Lorraine before 1580. Unfortunately many early French registers were deliberately destroyed both during the Revolution of 1789 - 1794, and later from 1870 to 1914 when both Alsace and Lorraine were German states. What is almost certain is that this surname is one of the many diminutive or patronymic derivatives of the Ancient Greek given name "Nicholas", intorduced into Europe in the 2th century by Crusaders returning from the Holy Land. From this developed the later short or nickname form "Coll", plus "et", a reduced spelling of "petit", and meaning "Little Coll" or "son of Coll". The earliest family recording examples of this surname are those of: Nicholas Colquitt, whose wifes name is not recorded (!), but whose various children, there were five or possibly six, were christened at the church of St Mary Aldermany, London. These were Elizabeth on May 5th 1600, and Marye on February 27th 1610, with John, Sara, and William, in between. Other recordings are those of Stephen Colquite, who married Mrs Jane Alley in London by civil licence on October 30th 1631, and Goodwin Colquitt, who married Catherine Collins at St. Philips church, Birmingham, Warwickshire, on November 2nd 1782. It is arguable as to when the first recorded spelling in any form of the family name took place, but this is probably Richard Colet of the county of Norfolk, England, in the year 1213. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop", often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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