The surname of WACKER was a baptismal name 'the son of Waket' an ancient although now long forgotten personal name. The name is also spelt WACKE, WAGGETT and WACKETT. Originally the coat of arms identified the wearer, either in battle or in tournaments. Completely covered in body and facial armour the knight could be spotted and known by the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped garment which enveloped him. 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 mention Henry Waket, 1273, County Lincolnshire. Hugh Waket, County Berkshire, ibid. Edward Wegget of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Later instances of the name include John Waggatt of County Surrey, who registered at Oxford University in the year 1581. Thomas Waggit, aged 17, sailed in the "Thomas and John" ship for Virginia and the United States of America in the year 1635. Thomas Pepper and Mary Wackett were married at St. George's Chapel, Mayfair, London in 1731. Baptised, William Thomas Waggett at the same church in the year 1742. Following the crusades in Europe in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries, a need was felt for a family name to replace the one given at birth, or in addition to it. This was recognized by those of noble birth, and particularly by those who went on the Crusades, as it added prestige and practical advantage to their status. When the first immigrants from Europe went to America, the only names current in the new land were Indian names which did not appeal to Europeans vocally, and the Indian names did not influence the surnames or Christian names already possessed by the immigrants. Mostly the immigrant could not read or write and had little or no knowledge as to the proper spelling, and their names suffered at the hands of the government officials. The early town records are full of these mis-spelt names most of which gradually changed back to a more conventional spelling as education progressed.
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