The surname of MAGGS is of two-fold origin. It was from the medieval given name MAGGE, a pet form of Margaret, a French female personal name, which was originally rendered in the Latin form MARGARITA, meaning 'pearl'. This name was borne by several early Christian saints, and became a popular female given name throughout Europe. The usual form was Margerie, and the name was brought into England during the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066. It was also a locational name derived from the Old English word 'mygg' meaning the dweller by the muddy clearing, from residence nearby. The name is familiar to County Somerset. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. The name has numerous variant spellings which include MOGG, MUDGE, MAGSON, MEGSON, MOXSON and MOXSOM. Hereditary surnames were originally imported from France into England during the Norman Conquest of 1066. In the two centuries or so after the Conquest surnames were acquired by most families of major landholders, and many landed families of lesser importance. There appears to have been a constant trickle of migration into Britain between about the years 1200 and 150O, mostly from France and the Low Countries, with a small number of migrants from Scandinavia, Germany, Italy and the Iberian peninsular, and occasional individuals from further afield. During this period groups of aliens settled in this country as for example, the Germans who from the late 15th century onwards settled in Cumbria to work the metal mines. Immigration during this time had only a small effect on the body of surnames used in Britain. In many cases, the surnames of immigrants were thoroughly Anglicised. The late sixteenth century saw the arrival, mostly in London and the south-coast ports of large numbers of people fleeing from the war regions of France. Early records of the name mention Mygge (without surname) recorded in 1157, County Somerset. William Mudge was recorded in the county of Devonshire, in the year 1200. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Registered at Sydney, County Devon.
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