This surname of GAZAWAY is a French and Italian nickname for someone supposedly resembling a magpie, such as a chattering or nagging person. The name was derived from the Old French word AGACHE or AGASSE meaning 'magpie'. Surnames having a derivation from nicknames form the broadest and most miscellaneous class of surnames, encompassing many different types of origin. The most typical classes refer adjectivally to the general physical aspect of the person concerned, or to his character. Many nicknames refer to a man's size or height, while others make reference to a favoured article of clothing or style of dress. Many surnames derived from the names of animals and birds. In the Middle Ages ideas were held about the characters of other living creatures, based on observation, and these associations were reflected and reinforced by large bodies of folk tales featuring animals behaving as humans. The name is also spelt GAZZA, AGGE, AGGIS, AGGASSE, AGACHE, LAGACHE, AGEASE, AJASSE, AYASSE, AGASSIS and GAZZINI. The name has spread widely throughout Europe and into the United States and Canada in many forms early records of the name in England mention Simon filius Agge of London in 1195. William Agge of the County of Yorkshire in 1275. William Agge in 1300, ibid. Gurdon and Elizabeth Agge were married at Westminster, London in 1669. A notable member of the name was Theodorus GAZA (1398-1478) the Byzantine scholar, born in Thessalonica. He fled the Turks to Italy (circa. 1444) and taught Greek at Ferrara and later philosophy at Rome. His principal work was a Greek grammar written in 1495 and he translated Latin portions of Aristotle, Theophrastus and St. Chrysostom. Another noteworthy person was Alexander Emmanuel Rodolphe AGASSIZ (1835-1910) the Swiss-born American oceanographer and zoologist, born in Neuchatel, son of Jean Louis AGASSIZ. He went to the United States to join his father in 1849, studied at Harvard and qualified at its Lawrence Scientific School in engineering and in zoology. He went to amass a fortune in the copper-mines of Lake Superior. He founded the zoological station at Newport, Rhode Island.
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