As with many Old Norse and Old Germanic personal names, this surname is composed of disparate elements that have no particular meaning taken as a whole, although their separate elements have their own meaning and derivation. 'Vaughan' is one of the Welsh diminutive forms of the nickname 'Baugh' for a small or short man, from the Welsh 'bychan', from 'bach', little. The first recording of the name is from Brecon, in South Wales, in the form of one 'Grifit Vehan' in 1222. The surname 'Hughes' is one of the patronymic forms of the Old French personal name 'Hu(gh)e', in origin a short form of any of the various Germanic compound names with the first element 'hug', meaning 'heart', 'mind' or 'spirit'. The personal name is first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Hugo'. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Hughes, which was dated 1327, The Somerset Subsidy Rolls, during the reign of King Edward 11, 'Edward of Caernafon', 1307 - 1327. 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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