The surname of MUSKOTT was derived from the Old French word MOUCHETT a name given to one who would use a small gun for birds of prey. Ocupational surnames originally denoted the actual occupation followed by the individual. At what period they became hereditary is a difficult problem. Many of the occupation names were descriptive and could be varied. In the Middle Ages, at least among the Christian population, people did not usually pursue specialized occupations exclusively to the extent that we do today, and they would, in fact, turn their hand to any form of work that needed to be done, particularly in a large house or mansion, or on farms and smallholdings. In early documents, surnames often refer to the actual holder of an office, whether the church or state. The name was brought into England from France during the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066. The name is also spelt MUSKITT, MUSCHET and MUSHET. Early records of the name mention Robert Osketell MUSHET who was recorded in 1177 in County Suffolk, and William MUSHETT appears in 1210 in County Norfolk. Robert MUSKET of the County of Cambridgeshire was recorded in the year 1273. During the Middle Ages, when people were unable to read or write, signs were needed for all visual identification. For several centuries city streets in Britain were filled with signs of all kinds, public houses, tradesmen and even private householders found them necessary. This was an age when there were no numbered houses, and an address was a descriptive phrase that made use of a convenient landmark. At this time, coats of arms came into being, for the practical reason that men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way. Later instances of the name mention John MUSKET of the County of Somerset who was documented in 1300. Edward Myles and Agnes MUSKETT were married in London in 1604 and Septimus MUSKET and Mary Maynard were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1745.
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