Recorded as Gudgeon, Gudgion, Gudgen and Gudgin, this is an English surname. However it is French in origin from the word goujon, the name of a fish considered easy to catch. As such the surname may have been a nickname for a fisherman, or for a credulous person. Surnames from medieval nicknames are amongst the largest grouping in the surname lists, indeed there are some researchers who claim that essentially all surnames are a form of nickname. In this case the word was introducued into England after the Norman Conquest of 1066, and first appears in records in the 13th century (see below). These recordings include Robert Gugiun in the Curia Regis rolls of 1221, whilst Henry Gojun is mentioned in the Subsidy Tax Rolls of Staffordshire in the same year. Other recordings taken at random from surviving church registers include Simon Gudgin who married Elizabeth Cramphorne at Cheshunt, Hertfordshire on June 11th 1635, and John Gudgion who was christened at St. James Clerkenwell, city of London on February 23rd 1651. Peter Gudgeone married Elizabeth Bunny also at St. James Clerkenwell on November 25th 1652 whilst Elizabeth Gudgeon was christened at St. Michaels church, St. Albans, Hertfordshire on January 12th 1783. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Peter Guggun. This was dated 1206, in the Curia Regis rolls of Lancashire, during the reign of King John, 1199 - 1216. 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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