Double - barrelled surnames, usually created following a marriage between two families, have no overall meaning as a unit, but the separate parts have their own meaning and derivation. In this instance, the name Watson is of early medieval origin, and is one of the patronymic forms of the popular male personal name Wat(t), itself a shortened form of Walter. Introduced into England by the Normans in the forms Waltier and Waut(i)er, the ultimate origin of the name is the old Germanic Walter, a compound of the element "wald", rule, plus "heri", an army. One Paganus Wat appears in the 1176 Pipe Rolls of Devonshire, and a Richard Watson was noted in the Court Rolls of the Manor of Wakefield, Yorkshire, dated 1324. The surname Brown, of Anglo-Saxon origin, derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "brun", (Old High German "brun"), meaning brown and was originally given as a nickname to someone with brown hair, or a dark complexion. In some instances, the derivation may be from the Olde English personal name Brun, (Old Norse "Bruni"), with the same meaning as above. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Brun which was dated circa 1111, in the "Early London Personal Names", during the reign of King Henry 1st, known as "The Lion of Justice", 1100 - 1135. 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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