The surname of HYGATE was a locational name 'of Highgate' in London. Local names usually denoted where a man held land, and indicated where he actually lived. Early records of the name mention John atte Hageyate, County Somerset and London in the year 1273. Thomas Hiegat of County Middlesex, registered at Oxford University in the year 1583. Richard Seyman and Elizabeth Hygate, were married in London in 1590. William Higat and Anne Hatchman were married at St. Dionis, Backchurch, London in the year 1651.
John Hiott and Isabella Barnes were married at St. Peter, Cornhill in the year 1651. Surnames as we know them today, were first assumed in Europe from the eleventh to the fifteenth century. They were not in use in England or in Scotland before the Norman Conquest and were first found in the Domesday Book of 1086. The employment in the use of a second name was a custom that was first introduced from the Normans. They themselves had not long before adopted them, and it became, in course of time, a mark of gentler blood, and it was deemed a disgrace for a gentleman to have but one single name, as the meaner sort. It was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) it became general practice amongst all people. This is also an old name about Glasgow, where it is of local origin, perhaps from Highgate, near Beith in Ayrshire. Johne Hechet was the Burgess of Glasgow in 1527, and William Higait was a notary public in 1547, and appears again as Burgess in 1562. William Highgate, town clerk, was charged with using injurious words to a bailie in 1564. Archibald Hiegat was a member of the Scots Parliament in 1586, and Gilbert Heighat was pursued for debt in 1609. In many parts of central and western Europe, hereditary surnames began to become fixed at around the 12th century, and have developed and changed slowly over the years. As society became more complex, and such matters as the management of tenure, and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to distinguish a more complex system of nomenclature to differentiate one individual from another. The name has many variant spellings which include Hyett, Hieatt, Hyatt, Highett, Highatt, Hiett, and Higatt.
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