Recorded in a wide range of spellings including Voll, Volet, Volett, Voleth, Volette, Valett, and Volage, this is a surname of French origins. It derives from the medieval word 'volage' meaning flighty or fickle, but which may have originally described a vain person. Medieval nicknames took no prisoners. They were direct and to the point,although this does not seem to have bothered the recipients too much. "Better to be noticed, than not noticed at all", seems to have been their attitude, although most of the names of the period which were either obscene or sexual have disappeared over the centuries. In a few notable cases, their original meaning has been forgotten or obscured in a variant spelling. In this case the name was intreoduced into England by Huguenot protestant refugees who sought, and were given, asylum in the 17th and 18th centuries. Over fifty thousand such people were accepted into Britain, and whereas sadly many later immigrants were poor and unskilled, the Huguenots were often leaders in their miltitary or skilled professions and in due course brought great wealth to Britain and ruin to France. Examples of the early surname recordings found in the surviving registers of the diocese of Greater London include: Jaques Volet, the son of Jean and Marie Volet, nee du Pont, who was christened at Threadneedle Street French Huguenot church on April 18th 1624, and later David Vollett, a witness at the church of St James, Dukes Place, Westminster, on May 1st 1689, the first year of the reign of the famous dual monarchs, William and Mary.
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