This famous and interesting name is a variant of the medieval personal name "Alger", in which several names of different origin, both Continental Germanic (via the Normans) and Olde English pre 7th Century, have fallen together. The final element of all of them is "gar, ger", a spear. The first element is generally "alb", elf, but may also be "adal", noble, or "ald", old. In the modern idiom the variants include: Alger, Algore, Anger, Elger and Algore. The surname in this instance is derived either from the Olde English pre 7th Century "Aethelgar" (the Norman French form), meaning "noble spear", or "Aelfgar", meaning "elf-spear". This is suggested by certain early recordings of the name in its present form, such as: Walter Elgar, in the 1317 Assize Court Rolls of Kent, and Walter Elgar, in the 1234 Feet of Fines of Suffolk, which both have these meanings. In regions that were under Scandinavian influence the name is normally derived from the Old Norse "Alfgeire", with the meaning "elf spear". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Algar, which was dated 1221, witness in the "Assize Court Rolls of Worcestershire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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