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Surname Paget - Meaning and Origin

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Paget: What does the surname Paget mean?

The surname Paget is of French origin and was originally derived from the word "page", which means a young servant or a boy in training for knighthood. Over time, the word "Page" evolved into the French term "Paget", usually signifying either a person who once worked as a page or the son of a page. The surname came to Britain following the Norman Conquest in 1066. In medieval times, being a page was the first stage of becoming a knight, so the name Paget could also imply a connection with knighthood or nobility. Its usage as a surname dates back to at least the 12th century. The name is spread across countries, especially in regions where French influence was strong, like in England and some parts of the United States. Notable people with the surname Paget include British actress Debra Paget and British physician Sir James Paget, after whom Paget's disease is named.

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Paget: Where does the name Paget come from?

The last name Paget is most common today in England, having originated in the North West region of England centuries ago. Other parts of the British Isles also display significant amounts of the name, including Wales, Scotland, the Isle of Man, and Northern Ireland. Beyond the United Kingdom, Paget has been most heavily adopted in the French-speaking parts of Canada, namely Quebec and New Brunswick.

The meaning of the Paget surname remains uncertain, although many suggest it derived from the Welsh "ap Gwyddel," which could describe a man from Ireland or a foreigner. Alternatively, it may derive from the French word paget, which could mean "page." Who these individuals were, and why they adopted the name, continues to elude scholars today.

The widely-referenced book "George Fox, the Pagan Apostle: An Historical Evidence" by Charles Evans states that there were Pagets living in the area of Wales in the 16th century. That same century, several Pagets made their way to North America; some of these were French Huguenot settlers escaping religious persecution, while others may have been related to the family from Wales or England. These immigrants found homes in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, and many other colonies.

Today, people with the Paget surname can be found across the world, from the United States of America to Western Europe, South-East Asia, and even Australia. It remains one of the more popular surnames in the United Kingdom, with more than 11,000 people bearing the name there.

Variations of the surname Paget

The surname Paget is an English toponymic surname that originated from a place in the West Midlands, just south of Lichfield. Variants and spellings of Paget can include Packet, Pajot, Pagot, Packet, Pecquet, Payot and Pageot.

The most common variants of Paget tend to be Packet, Pajot and Pagot. These can be used interchangeably, however each variant can also be used to indicate a different status amongst families. For example, Pagot and Packet were most used amongst higher classes, while Pajot was used by the less wealthy status.

Variant surnames include Pickett, Payt, and Payette, which are all French in origin. Pickett is a derivative of Pickottage from the Old French word pikot, meaning point. It can also be used interchangeably with Packet and Pajot. Payt and Payette mean to pay and payer respectively, derived from the Old French word, paiier.

Also related to the name Paget is the surname Peyton, shared by the famous American football quarterback. Peyton is a variant of Payton, an English surname derived from the name of the town of Pouyet in Normandy.

Overall, other surnames related to Paget stem from either English or French origin and are derived from place names. All of the spellings of the surname are closely related and can be used interchangeably, depending on the class and status of the individuals.

Famous people with the name Paget

  • Henry Paget, 1st Marquess of Anglesey (1768-1854): British Army officer and politician who fought in the Napoleonic Wars as well as holding several political offices, including Lord Lieutenant of Anglesey and President of the Board of Control.
  • Herbert Paget (1863-1937): English lawyer and politician, regarded as one of the preeminent figures of the Liberal Party in late 19th century and early 20th century. He served in prominent governmental offices in both the United Kingdom and South Africa.
  • Constance Paget (1864-1941): British philanthropist who supported a host of charities, founded the Prisoners' Aid Association and received a number of awards for her contributions, including a knighthood in 1937.
  • George Paget, 7th Baronet (1868-1923): Captain in the British Royal Navy.
  • Henry Paget, 5th Marquess of Anglesey (1902-1985): British philanthropist.
  • Tracey Paget (1932-2006): British novelist best known for her political satire, mostly written during the 1960s and 1970s.
  • David Paget (1941–2016): Co-founder of the Parisian club The Silencio, tooling & dyeing maker, and photographer.
  • Thomas Paget (born 1950): British barrister and author, best known for his books on inheritance and probate law.
  • Tommy Paget (born 1976): British musician and songwriter.
  • Julian Paget (born 1983): British actor, best known for his performances in Ritual and Life On Mars.

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