Recorded in many forms ashown below, this is an English surname of ancient and very confused origins. It almost certainly however spelt locational from any of at least three quite separate places. It is not thought to have been occupational from the early French word "fausset", the modern faucet, and meaning a tap or wash place, although this is possible. The places are either Fawcett, a village in Cumberland or from the similar named Facit in the adjoining county of Lancashire, or even from Forcett, a village in North Yorkshire. Fawcett is recorded in 1247 as Faxide, and in 1282 as Fausyde, while Facit is first recorded in the records of Whalley Abbey, Lancashire circa 1250 as Fagheside. Both places share the same meaning and derivation, which is the multi-coloured hillside, from the pre 7th century word "fag", meaning brightly coloured or variegated, with "side", a hillside or slope. Forcett was first recorded in the famous Domesday Book of 1086 as Forsete, meaning the house by the narrow river crossing. The modern surname is recorded in some unusual forms which include Fawcett, Fawcitt, Fawssett, Faucett, Faussett, Fasset, Fossick, Fossitt, and possibly others. An example of recordings is the marriage of John Fawcett and Mary Chater was recorded at St. Mary's church, Aldermary London in 1723. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John del Fawside, which was dated 1332, in the Cumberland Subsidy Rolls, during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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