This is an Olde heraldic French name which originates in Britanny, the Coat of Arms being a Silver Lion rampant on a blue Field. The first recordings in England refer to Huguenot emigres, and the name is even more unusual in that the original French spelling has been retained. The precise meaning is obscure but is probably a medieval metonymic for an engineer - one who manufactured gears and "Pinions". The first recordings coincides with the reign of James II, the last Catholic British Monarch, and not a good time to be a Huguenot Protestant fleeing Catholic France. In 1689, Ann Pignon was also baptised at the same Church - The Threadneedle Street, Huguenot Chapel, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Noe Pignon, which was dated October 30th 1687, Son of Noe Pignon - "A Huguenot", during the reign of King James II, of England and VII of Scotland, 1685 - 1689. 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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