This is an English and French occupational surname, used originally to denote a servant. The derivation is from the Middle English and Old French "Sergent", from the latin "serviens" from "servire", to serve. Although as first "sargeant" or "sergant" would have meant someone who served in a general sense it soon developed various specialised meanings, e.g. a tenant by military service below the rank of a knight, or an officer of the law charged with enforcing the judgements of a tribunal, etc., in other words a "policeman", in the modern idiom. There are a great many variants of the name ranging from Sergeant, Sargeant and Searjeant to Sargint and Sarjent. The name development has included "Robert le Serjaunt" (1221, Leicestershire), and "Thomas Sarjeant (1689, Yorks). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Edric le Sergant. which was dated 1155, in the Danelaw Records. during the reign of King Henry 11, known as the Builder of Churches, 1154 - 1189. 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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