This English, German, Frisian, Flemmish, Dutch, Danish, Swedish and Dutch surname of HAGENMEYER was originally derived from any of various places in Northern France, named from the Old Norman word HAGI (enclosure). It was a locational name simply meaning the dweller at the hedged or fenced settlement. The name is also spelt HAGLE, HEGEL, HAGBER, HAGER, HAGEMAN, HEGEMANN, HAAG, HAAGEN and HADEMANN, to name but a few. In some cases, however, the name may also have been an occupational name for a warden of a forest, one who repaired the hedges or fences and kept the animals from straying. Many of the modern family names throughout Europe reflect the profession or occupation of their forbears in the Middle Ages and derive from the position held by their ancestors in the village, noble household or religious community in which they lived and worked. The addition of their profession to their birth name made it easier to identify individual tradesmen and craftsmen. As generations passed and families moved around, so the original identifying names developed into the corrupted but simpler versions that we recognise today. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error. Between the 11th and 15th centuries it became customary for surnames to be assumed in Europe, but were not commonplace in England or Scotland before the Norman Conquest of 1066. They are to be found in the Domesday Book of 1086. Those of gentler blood assumed surnames at this time, but it was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) that second names became general practice for all people. Early records of the name in England mention Ivo HACGARD who was recorded in County Suffolk in 1273. Thomas HAGAR, of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379 and Richard de HAGHOUS appeared in 1400 in the County of Surrey.
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