The surname of MUSSETT was a nickname 'the musket', a name given to one who would use a small gun for birds of prey. Early records of the name mention Robert Musket of the County of Cambridgeshire in 1273. John Musket of the County of Somerset in 1300. Occupational 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. Later instances of the name include Edward Myles and Agnes Muskett who were married in London in 1604. (No church recorded) and Septimus Musket and Mary Maynard were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1745. Thomas Mussett and Ellen Rice were married at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in the year 1692. Emery Mussett and Mary Lilleywhite were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1788. Many factors contributed to the establishment of a surname system. For generations after the Norman Conquest of 1066 a very few dynasts and magnates passed on hereditary surnames, but the main of the population, with a wide choice of first-names out of Celtic, Old English, Norman and Latin, avoided ambiguity without the need for a second name. As society became more stabilized, there was property to leave in wills, the towns and villages grew and the labels that had served to distinguish a handful of folk in a friendly village were not adequate for a teeming slum where perhaps most of the householders were engaged in the same monotonous trade, so not even their occupations could distinguish them, and some first names were gaining a tiresome popularity, especially Thomas after 1170. The hereditary principle in surnames gained currency first in the South, and the poorer folk were slower to apply it. By the 14th century however, most of the population had acquired a second name.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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