There are two possible sources for this interesting surname of French medieval origins. The first is residential, and describes one who came from a place called "Musset(t)", of which there are several examples in France and Flanders (now Belgium). The name means "the little (petit) hiding place (musse)", the word also being used originally to describe a one place (cell) dungeon, or even a place of ambush! The second possibility is as a developed form of the word "mouschet" meaning a sparrow hawk. In this case the name would refer either to one who trained such birds for hunting, or who exhibited the traits of a hawk. The surname development is probably from Muschat; John Muschat being recorded in Oxfordshire in 1273, to Muschet in 1343, London, to Musset (see below). Other recordings of the name include Thomas Mussett, who married Magdalene Kelsave at St. mary Le Bow, London, on July 12th 1590. The Coat of Arms was granted in Lorraine, France, being a gold eagle displayed on a black field. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Jeffrey Musset, which was dated November 8th 1562, marriage to Johane Smythe, at Attleborough, Norfolk, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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