This interesting surname is of early medieval English origin, and has three distinct possible sources, each with its own history and derivation. Firstly, Raggett may be a diminutive of the male given name "Ragg", itself a shortened form of any of the various Anglo-Saxon personal names, such as "Raimund (Raymond), Rainer (Rayner)", and "Regenweald (Reginald)", having as an initial element either the Germanic "ragin", counsel, or the Olde English "regen", power. Early recordings of the surname from this source are found exclusively in Yorkshire, and include: Peter Ragge (1273), and Johannes Ragge, noted in the 1379 Poll Tax Returns of that county. The second possibility is that Raggett is a variant of the medieval surname Ragged, itself a nickname for one of unkempt appearance, deriving from the Middle English "ragged", shaggy, rough (Old Norse "roggvathr", tufted). One Richard le Raggide was noted in the 1273 Hundred Rolls of Derbyshire. Finally, in his "Patronymica Britannica", M.A. Lower states that Reigate in Surrey was locally pronounced "raggatt, raggett", and consequently, the name may be locational from this place. Raggett is variously spelt: Ragat, Ragate, Raigatt, Raggitt and Ragot in English Church Registers. On November 13th 1539, Harry Ragat was christened at Yapton, Sussex, and on September 4th 1590, the marriage of Issabell Raggett to Raphe Trotter took place at Thrisk, Yorkshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas le Ragged, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Yorkshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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