This unusual surname is of early medieval English origin, and has two distinct possible sources, each with its own history and derivation. Firstly, Organ may be a metonymic occupational name for a player of a musical instrument (not necessarily what is now known as an organ), deriving from the Middle English "organ", Old French "organe", Late Latin "organum", device, (musical) instrument. Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. The second possibility is that Organ derives from a rare medieval given name, attested only in the Latinized forms "Organus" (masculine) and "Organa" (feminine). The etymology of the name is obscure, but it may represent an Anglicized version of a Celtic name. One Organus Pipard was noted in the 1236 Book of Fees for Oxfordshire, and John Organ of Cornwall, son of Organa, wife of Ives de Treworian, appears in "A Descriptive Catalogue of Ancient Deeds", dated 1327. In 1364, Simon Organ was recorded in the Close Rolls of London, and William Organ was entered in the Calendar of Wills in the Court of Husting (1397). A Coat of Arms granted to the family is a shield divided per saltire gold and ermine with a red cross couped, the Crest being three silver organ pipes, two in saltire and one in pale, entwined with a chaplet of green laurel. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Organ, which was dated 1210, in the "Curia Regis Rolls of Kent", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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