This intriguing surname is of Old French origin, and is a diminutive of "Wask", the Norman form of the Old French "Gasc", a person from Gascony. The name of the region derives from that of the Basques. Hence the surname is "Wask", as above, plus the diminutive suffix "-ett", hence "Waskett", little Wask. The name was probably introduced into England in the aftermath of the Norman Invasion of 1066. The surname itself first appears in the late 13th Century in Essex (see below), while the Assize Court Rolls of Essex mention one John Wasket in 1351. Other early examples of the surname include: the christening of Thomas Wasskytt's son on January 11th 1555, at St. Olave's, Southwark, London; the marriage of William Wasket and Joyce Quilter on September 29th 1610, at Great Canfield, Essex; and the marriage of Peter Waskett and Ann Wenham on August 11th 1708, at St. James', Duke's Place, London. A Coat of Arms granted to Sir Frances Waskett K.C.B. of London and Essex in 1818, depicts a bend cotised between a red lion rampant in chief, and two red lions combatant in base, on a gold field. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Elyas Wasket, which was dated 1274, in the "Hundred Rolls of Essex", during the reign of King Edward 1, 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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