This interesting English surname originated in Kent as a metonymic nickname describing a fishmonger or baker. The surname dates back to the 13th Century. One source attributes the name to the Old English word "Fagg", a flat fish, plaice or a flat loaf, and is reflected in the early modern word "Fadge". Another source informs us that the nickname is a variation from either of two homonymous Middle English words "fagge" and "Fage", the former meaning a fault in the weave of a piece of cloth, the latter, deception, or flattery. In the South of England, the "V" was regarded as the normal Southern pronunciation of "F" and was replaced by it. Thus we get recordings such as Richard le Vag (Assize Rolls for Somerset, 1269) and Ivelo Vag, (Wiltshire, 1286). Other early entries of the name include Johanna Fag (Hundred Roll, 1273) and Robert Fag (Somerset, 1327). Different forms of the name vary from Fag to Fagge to names in the modern idiom including Vag, Vaggs, Vagges. Sir John Fag (d. 1701), Parliamentarian; Colonel; M.P. Rye 1640, Sussex 1654 and 1659, Steyning, Sussex 1661-1701; commissioner for Charles 1's trial; imprisoned for raising forces in Sussex to support Haslerig and Morley 1659; created baronet, 1660. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Fag, which was dated 1202, "The Fines Court of Kent", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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