This interesting surname is of English topographical origin for a dweller by the south gate of a medieval walled town or other enclosed place. The component elements of the name are the old English pre 7th Century "suth" meaning south plus "geat" a gate. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. The surname was first recorded in the late 12th Century (see below). One, Alice de Southgate, is noted in the Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk (1327), and Richard Suggett, appears in the "Register of the Guild of the Corpus Christi in the City of York" in 1516. In the modern idiom, the surname has four spelling variations Southgate, Suggate, Suggett and Suggitt. The marriage of Robtus Suggett and Katherina Oliver took place at Danby in Cleveland, Yorkshire on October 5th 1565, and Thomasin Suggett married John Foster on November 10th 1611 at Askham Richard, Yorkshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Osbert de Sudgate, which was dated 1197, in the Pipe Rolls of Essex, during the reign of King Richard 1st, known as "Richard the Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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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