This interesting surname has a number of possible derivations. Firstly, it may be a variant of Galt, which in Scotland was either a name given to a Lowlander, a stranger, or a newcomer into a particular area, from the Old Gaelic "gall", meaning Lowlander, stranger; or (though less likely) it may be of locational origin, from a place called "The Galt", on the island of Shapinsay in the Orkney islands. However, in some instances, the name may be of Old Scandinavian origin, as a nickname for someone who resembled a wild boar, from the Old Norse "goltr", a wild boar (Middle English "galte, gaute"). The surname in its original form first appears in the late 12th Century (see below), while other early examples include William Galt (Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire, 1202), and William Galt, bailie of Perth (the Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, 1367). John and Alexander Galt were admitted burgesses of Aberdeen in 1437. In London, James, son of James and Menny Golt, was christened on July 1st 1790, at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, London, while Helen Golt married Joseph Robson on November 18th 1799, at Edinburgh, Midlothian. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Godfrey Galt, which was dated 1198, in the "Feet of Fines of Norfolk", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 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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