Recorded in several forms including Madgett, Matchett, Matchet and Matches, this unusual name is of medieval English origin. It is one of the diminutive forms of the female personal name 'Margerie', the usual English form of the French 'Marguerite' in the Middle Ages. The French name derives from the Latin female given name 'Margarita', meaning 'Pearl', and thought to be of Persian origin. It was borne by several early Christian saints, and became a popular female personal name throughout Europe. The modern surname 'Madgett', also found as 'Meggett', 'Meggitt' and 'Meggat', is in fact a double diminutive, from 'Magg' or 'Madge', diminutives of 'Margery' or 'Margaret', and recorded as 'Magge' in the Lancashire Assize Rolls of 1246. Other recordings include: William Matche of Yorkshire in the Poll Tax rolls of 1379, and later the marriage of John Madgett and Suzana Shelton was recorded at St. Stephen's, Coleman Street, London on April 22nd 1663. 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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