As with many Old English personal names such as "Alfgar" composed of the disparate elements "aelf", elf and "gari", spear, double-barrelled names, (usually created following a marriage between two families), have no overall meaning but the separate elements have their own meaning and derivation. In this instance, the name Hardy derives from the Old French, (Medieval English), "hardi" meaning bold or courageous, and was originally bestowed as a complimentary nickname on a brave and spirited man. Early recordings of the surname include: William le Hardy, (Lincolnshire, 1206), and Thomas Hardy, (Yorkshire, 1379). The name Piggin is a diminutive form of Pidgeon, itself having two possible origins. Firstly, it may have originated as a metronymic occupational name for a hunter of wood pigeons from the Old French "pijon", (Medieval English "pigeon"), a young bird, and secondly, it may be a nickname from the Medieval English "pety", small, plus the given name John, hence, "Pet(y)jon. On December 15th 1598, Arnolde, son of Balthazer Piggin, was christened in St. Botolph Without Aldgate, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Hardi, which was dated 1194, The Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire, during the reign of King Richard 1, "Richard 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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