This interesting surname, with variant spelling Unett, is a derivative of Honyott, Oniet, Honiet or Onyett, all of which originate from the Anglo-Saxon and Olde English pre 7th Century compound personal name "Huguenot". This name has the extraordinary translation of "Young bear-gate". The surname was first recorded in the latter half of the 13th Century (see below). Appearing in the 1327, Subsidy Rolls are, Peter Honyot (Worcestershire), and John Oniet (Somerset). It has also been suggested that the surname may derive from some female given name such as Eunice, which means, in Greek, "happy victory". Recordings of the surname from the London Church Registers include; Margrett Unitt, who married Isaac Tyeth, in August 1645, at St. Katherine by the Tower; the christening of Ann, daughter of Thomas and Ann Unitt took place on October 12th 1682, at St. Botolph without Aldgate; on August 29th 1697, Mary daughter of William and Mary Unitt, was christened at St. Vedast Foster Lane and St. Michael le Querne, Hannah, daughter of William and Mary Unitt, was christened on February 13th 1709, at St. Martin Ludgate. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Honiet, which was dated 1280, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire", during the reign of King Edward 1st, known as "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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