This is a medieval English surname of Ashkenasic origins, which derives from one of the various early words for God, itself meaning "good". In this case the background is Germanic pre 10th Century where it generally forms a prefix to a compound such as "Gottfried" good friend. The name development in England has shown a wide range of variant spellings which include the following George Gaut who married Catherine Chafman in London in 1642, Church of St. Margarets, Westminster, Alice Gott who married Thomas Parker at Stepney in 1615 and Jane Gout, christened at St.Martins, Ludgate on July 28th 1738. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Elizabeth Goughte, which was dated 1577, married William Wilson at St. Gregory's by St. Paul's, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Good Queen Bess, 1558 - 1603. 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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