This interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname from the place called 'Reigate' in Surrey. The placename is first recorded as 'Regata' in the Surrey Pipe Rolls of 1185, and means 'the roe (deer) gate', derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century word 'raege', meaning 'female roe deer', and 'geat', gate or pass. Locational surnames were usually given to the Lord of the Manor and especially to those former inhabitants who moved to live or work in another area. The marriage of Mary Rigate and John Buckton was recorded on the 11th May 1572 at St. Giles, Cripplegate, James, son of James and Margaret Rigate was christened on the 7th February 1640 at St. Botolph without Aldgate, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de Reygate, which was dated 1273, the Hundred Rolls of Wiltshire, during the reign of King Edward I, 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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