Recorded as Fig, Fige, Figg, the diminutives Figgen and Figgin, the prejoritives Figger and Figure, the patronymics Figgs, Figers, Figgers, Figgins, Figures, and others, this interesting surname has a number of possible origins. Firstly, it may derive from the German word "feige" meaning fig, and would have been a topographical name for someone who lived by a fig tree or a metonymic occupational name for a grower or seller of figs. The surname may also be of Viking origin and descend from "vig" meaning war. Oddly enough this was a personal name which was usually incorporated into a compound, such as vig-brand, vig-hard, vig-laf, etc. The change from "v" to "f" and vice-versa is common in England as in venn to fenn, etc.. Another possibility is that it originated from the Old French word "fiche", meaning an iron point, and would have been an occupational surname for a planter or someone who used a pointed implement or weapon. Richard Fige is noted in the Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire in 1273, whilst Robert Fygen appears in the Hearth Tax rolls of Suffolk in 1524. Later examples from surviving church registers of the city of London include the marriage of Mary Figg and John Hull at St. Gregory by St. Paul's cathedral in 1586, Edward Figers who married Sybil Hawkes at St Giles Cripplegate on June 24th 1637, Grace Figures who married Marke Buston at St Dunstans Stepney, in 1640, and Lydia Figger who was christened at St Giles Cripplegate, on December 3rd 1775. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Fig. This was dated 1273, in the Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire, during the reign of King Edward 1st, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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