This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is the diminutive form of the "nickname" surname King used to refer to someone who conducted himself in a kingly manner, or a person who played the part of a King in a pageant, or to one who had won the title in a contest. Very occasionally it may have been given to someone working in a King's household. The derivation is from the Old English pre 7th Century "cyning", the Middle English "king", which came from the Old English word "cyn(n)", meaning tribe or race, and originally "a tribal leader". The fact that the name King is so widespread in England is probably due to the fact that the pageants were very popular in most towns and villages, and that the "Kings" were proud of their title. The modern surname can be found as Kinge, King, Kynge and Kingett. Among the sample recordings in London are the marriages of John Kingett and Elizabeth Uncle, on December 29th 1722, at St. Anne's, Aldersgate, and of Martha Kingett and Thomas Charlton, on January 9th 1743, at St. Benet's, Paul's Wharf. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Kynget, which was dated 1296, in the "Sussex Subsidy Rolls", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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