This interesting and attractive surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is either a topographical name from residence by a swing-gate, specifically one in a fence between ploughed land and meadow, deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century "hlid-geat", swing-gate, or a locational name from any of the various places named with this word. These places include: Lidgate in Suffolk; Lidgate in Yorkshire and Derbyshire; Lidgett near Edwinstowe, Nottinghamshire, and Lugat in the lordship of Stow, Midlothian. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognizable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages, and locational names were originally given as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. Early examples of the surname include: Philip atte Lidgate (Yorkshire, 1274); Richard de la Lydeyate (Staffordshire, 1280), and John atte Lygate (Sussex, 1332). In the modern idiom the surname has a number of variant spellings, ranging from Lidgate, Liddiatt, Lidgett, Lidgey, Lyddiatt, and Lydiate to Liggat, Liggatt and Liggett. On February 3rd 1697, Elizabeth Liggett and Jonathan Bushell were married at St. James', Duke's Place, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph de Lidgate, which was dated 1230, in the "Pipe Rolls of Sussex", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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