This very rare name, found in the Midlands and in Scotland in the mid 19th Century, is of medieval English origin, and is a patronymic form (the "s" being a reduced form of "son of") of the surname Twiggin or Twiggen, diminutives of the surname Twigg(e). The name derives from the northern Middle English "twigge", twig, slender shoot, and is a good example of that interesting group of European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. These were given in the first instance with reference to a variety of characteristics, particularly a person's physical attributes, peculiarities and general appearance, and here "twigge" would have been used as a nickname for a noticeably thin person. The surname is first recorded in 1296, when one John Twiyg is listed in the Assize Court Rolls of Cheshire. Examples of the diminutive forms of the name from various Church Registers include: the marriage of Richard Twiggin and May Holloway, on January 26th 1734, at Leamington, Hastings, Warwickshire; the marriage of Ann Twigins and John Leather in Manchester Cathedral, on February 10th 1772; and the marriage of Robert Twiggins and Catharine McLean, on November 22nd 1844, at Govan in Lanarkshire, Scotland. Their son, James, was born in Glasgow on August 18th 1845. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Twigin, which was dated December 10th 1676, witness to the christening of his son, Daniell, at St. Thomas', Dudley, Worcestershire, during the reign of King Charles 11, known as "The Merry Monarch", 1660 - 1685. 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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