This very unusual and interesting name has two possible sources, one English and one of French Huguenot origin, both examples of the common medieval practice of creating a surname from a nickname, in this case for someone who acted in or organised the medieval mystery plays. These popular biblical dramas were made up of a series of scenes known as "pageants" from the Latin "pagina", scene of a play, from its use meaning "a page (of a book)". The surname "Pargeant" is first recorded as "Pargement", as below, and appears also as "Pargenat", showing its derivation from "Pagenat", which is spelt the same way in English and in French.The following recording suggests a Huguenot origin because of the late date, a time when many Huguenots came to England to escape religious persecution. John Pargent christened 27th June 1761, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Elizabeth Pargement, married Robert Smith. which was dated 25th May 1580, St. Michael le Belfry, York. during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, 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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