This interesting name is of English and French origin and is occupational for a servant, from the Middle English (1200 - 1500) and Old French "sergent", from the Latin "serviens" a derivative of "servire", meaning to serve. However, the word also developed specialized meanings, such as a technical term for a tenant by military service below the rank of a knight and as the name for certain administrative and legal officials in different localities. The name development since 1185 (see below) includes: Robert le Serjaunt (1221, Leicestershire), Thomas le Sergeant (1266, Staffordshire), John Sargeant (1396, Suffolk) and Thomas Sarjeant (1689, Yorkshire). The modern surname can be found as Sergeant, Sargant, Sargeaunt, Sargent and Sergent, to name a few. An early emigrant to the American Colonies was Thomas Sergeant (23 years), who sailed from London on board the "Peter Bonaventure" in April 1635, bound for the Barbados. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Edric le Sergant, which was dated 1185, in the "Danelaw Documents of Lincolnshire", 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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