This very rare and unusual surname is usually considered to be a member of the Fagan family of surnames. These include such spellings as Phagan, Fagen, Feagan, Fagoon, and Fagans. It would seem that Fagence may be a version of Fagans, but this is not absolutely proven. However the number of possible names from which it could have derived are themselves in very short supply. These include the French Fagnier, Fagnot and Faignard, but beyond these, nothing. 'Fagan' itself is Anglo-Irish, or perhaps Norman Irish. It derives from 'Pagan', and as such is believed to have the original pre 7th century meaning of 'heathen' or 'untamed'. The origination is from the Latin 'paganus', and the most usual modern surname spelling in English is Pain or Payne. Whether the original Fagans came directly from Normandy to Ireland, or as seems most likely they were in England for sometime before moving to Ireland is unclear, but certainly Fagan is regarded as Irish, and the earliest recordings are found in that country. Examples of the Fagence recordings are quite rare but include Thomas Fagence, the son of Thomas and Mary, christened at St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on December 3rd 1809, and William Frederick Fagence, the son of William and Diana Fagence, christened at St Marks, Kennington, London, on March 30th 1873. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Fagan, which was dated 1199, the rolls and charters of the city of Dublin, Ireland, during the reign of King Richard 1st, known as 'The lion heart', 1189 - 1199. 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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