This name is of Norman locational origin, from a place in La Manche called Montaigu, so named from the Old French "mont", a hill, plus "agu", pointed; hence, "pointed hill". The name is first recorded in England in the latter half of the 11th Century (see below), the namebearer being a follower of William the Conqueror in 1066, who was granted lands in England. In 1255, one William de Montacute appears in the Assize Court Rolls of Somerset, and in 1273, William de Montagu was recorded in the Hundred Rolls of Buckinghamshire. The Montagu family in England have held many titles including Earls of Halifax, Beaulieu and Sandwich, and also Dukes of Manchester. On August 11th 1621, Monsier de la Montague, a French surgeon resident in England, agreed to settle in Virginia "a land under his majesty's (James 1) obedience". The Coat of Arms most associated with the name is on an azure shield, a gold griffin segreant. Azure signified Loyalty and Truth, while gold denoted Generosity and Elevation of Mind, and the qualities of Valour, Vigilance and Perseverance were often associated with the griffin. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Drogo de (of) Montagud or de Monte Acuto, which was dated 1084, in the Domesday Book of Somerset, during the reign of King William 1, known as "The Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. 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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