The surname of WIGAN was a baptismal name 'the son of Wigand'. The name was introduced into England, during the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066. Early records of the name mention WIGHEN (without surname) listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086. Radulfus filius Wigein, was documented in Leicestershire in 1163. Wyganus Marescall was recorded during the reign of Edward I (1272-1307). John Wygen of County Cornwall, was recorded in 1279. Thomas Wygan of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Daniel Wiggen and Mary Bridge, were married at St. Mary, Aldermary, London in 1705. John Wigans and Mary Spong were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1760. 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. Thomas Wiggens and Elizabeth Beakley were married at the same church in 1793. Rynne Wiggein and Arch Wiggein, were documented in East Teviotdaill, Scotland in 1596. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his head, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour. The name has many variant spellings which include Wiggin, Wigan Wigans and Wiggans. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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