This unusual and interesting name of English origin is locational from a place so called in Oxfordshire. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century 'fen', the East Saxon 'faen', meaning a fen or a marsh, with 'cot', a cottage, or simple shelter. The placename appears in the Pipe Rolls of Oxfordshire as 'Fencote', in 1194. During the Middle Ages, when it was becoming increasingly common for people to migrate from their place of birth to seek work further a field, the custom developed where they would adopt or be given the village or townland name as a means of identification. The christening of Edward Fencott took place at St. Margaret's, Westminster, on 14th July 1641, and the wedding between one Richard Fencott and Anne Barratt on 18th September 1690 at Thame, a village in Oxfordshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralphe Fencott, which was dated 20th April 1628, St. Margaret's Westminster, during the reign of King Charles I, The Martyr, 1625 - 1649. 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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