This interesting surname has two possible origins; firstly, it may be a metonymic occupational name for an assayer, an official in charge of checking weights and measures, deriving from the Middle English, Old French "ga(u)ge" meaning measure. Secondly, it may be a metonymic occupational name for a moneylender or usurer, from a Middle English, Old French term "gage", pledge, surety against which money was lent. The surname dates back to the early 14th Century (see below). Early recordings include Robert Gage (circa 1315) in the Calverley Charters of Yorkshire. London Church Records list the christenings of Thomas, son of Anthony Gate, on the 26th July 1552 at St. Matthew's, Friday Street, and of Elizabeth, daughter of Matthew Gauge on the 15th January 1644 at St. Mary Somerset. A Coat of Arms granted to a Gage family is per pale blue and red, a silver saltire. The Crest is a stag passant proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alica Gage, which was dated 1310, in the Court Rolls of Borough of Colchester, during the reign of King Edward 11 of Caernafon, 1307-1327. 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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