This interesting surname is of Norman origin, and was introduced into Britain and Ireland after the Conquest of 1066. It is a locational name from any of the several places in Northern France, such as Nogent-sur-Oise, named with the Latin "Novientum", apparently an altered form of a Gaulish name meaning "new settlement". The Anglo-Norman family of this name are descended from Fulke de Bellesme, lord of Nogent in Normandy, who was granted large estates around Winchester after the Conquest. His great-grandson was Hugh de Nugent (died 1213), who went to Ireland with Hugh de Lacy, and was granted lands in Bracklyn in Westmeath. The family formed themselves into a clan in the Irish model, of which the chief bore the hereditary title of Uinsheadun, from their original seat at Winchester. They have been Earls of Westmeath since 1621, and the name is now widespread in Ireland. The surname dates back to the early 13th Century (see below). Church Records list the marriage of Phillip Nugent to Sarah Churche on November 10th 1625 at St. Bride's, Fleet Street, London, and the christening of John, son of Morrice and Julian Nugent, on August 7th 1732, at St. Mary's Cathedral, Limerick. A Coat of Arms granted to a Nugent family is ermine, two red bars. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Philip de Nugent, which was dated 1203, in the "Pleas before the King or his Justices", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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