Recorded in various forms some very rare, and including Organ, Oregan, Orgen, Orgin, Origan, and probably Origin, this unusual surname is of early medieval English origin. It has two totally distinct sources, each with its own history and derivation. Firstly it may be a metonymic occupational name for a player of a musical instrument, although not necessarily what is now known as an organ. The derivation is from the Roman (Latin) word "organum", meaning a musical instrument. Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary, usually when a son followed his father into the same occupation. The second possibility is that the name derives from a medieval given name Organus (masculine) or Organa (feminine). The etymology of the name is obscure, but may be Celtic. Early examples of the recordings include Organus Pipard in the Book of Fees for Oxfordshire in 1236, and John Organ of Cornwall. He was the son of Organa, the wife of Ives de Treworian, recorded a Catalogue of Ancient Deeds, for the county and dated 1327. Other examples of later recordings in the city of London include Tamazin Orgin who married Joseph Jackson at St Stephans church, on July 25th 1642, and Hannah Origan at St Giles Cripplegate, on April 27th 1859. The first recorded spelling of the family name is probably that of Robert Organ. This was dated 1210, in the Curia Regis Rolls of the county of Kent, during the reign of King John of England, 1199 - 1216. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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