Recorded as Wagg, Wagge, and the diminutives Waggatt, Waggett, Waggit, Waggot and Waggott, this is an English medieval surname although one of much earlier and confused origins. It derives either from the pre 7th Century word "wag" meaning to shake, as with laughter, and hence was a nickname for a jolly person, or it is from the given name Wag, Wig, Wigod or Wigot. These latter examples translate as "war god" from the words "wig", meaning war, and "god", god or perhaps good. As a personal name, there were then few surnames as we know them today, Wigot is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 in the counties of Sussex, Bedfordshire, and Berkshire, and as Wigod in Devonshire. However spelt it remained popular as a baptismal name until the 14th century. The surname first appears on record in the 12th century (see below), and other early recordings include John Wagg of Yorkshire in the Hundred Rolls of that county in 1273, and Henry Waget of Lincolnshire, also in 1273. Early exam0ples of church recordings from the Elizabethan and Stuart times include the christening of John Waggat at Farnham, in Surrey, on July 13th 156, Thomasen Wagg, who was buried at St Jameds Clerkenwell, in the city of London, on December 9th 1607, and John Waggitt who married Margarett Bowring at Berwick upon Tweed, Northumberland on October 13th 1656. Thomas Waggitt, aged 17, who left London on the ship "Thomas and John", bound for Virginia in 1635, was the earliest recorded name bearer to settle in America. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Wiget. This was dated 1180, in the Pipe Rolls of Worcestershire, during the reign of King Henry 11nd, 1154 - 1189. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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