This interesting and unusual surname is of French origin, and has two distinct possible sources. Firstly, the surname may be from the personal name "Magne", the French form of the Scandinavian personal name "Magnus". This was borne by Magnus the Good (died 1077), king of Norway, who was named after the Emperor Charlemagne, from the Latin "Carolus Magnus", Charles the Great. The name spread from Norway to the east Scandinavian royal houses, and became popular all over Scandinavia and thence in the rest of Europe. Magnus de Weitecroft is noted in the Documents relating to the Danelaw, Lincolnshire, and Hugo Magnus is listed in the Abstract of the contents of the Burton Chartulary, Staffordshire (1114), the surname may be of French locational origin, from a place called "Magne" in Deux-Sevres and Vienne. Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. Recordings of the surname from various Church Registers include: the marriage of Margery Magne and John Watts on August 12th 1674, at Mileham, Norfolk, England, and the marriage of Pierre Magne and Anne Geninet on April 14th 1687, at Crepey, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gabriel Magne, which was dated November 1618, witness at the christening of his daughter, Perrine, at Saint Jacques, Angers, Maine-et-Loire, France, during the reign of King Louis X111 of France, 1610 - 1643. 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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