Recorded in several forms including Fogt, Foit, Vogt, Vogts, Veogt, Voigt and Voight, this is a German surname, but of pre 5th century Roman (Latin) origins. It derives from the ancient word "advocatus" from which comes the legal term advocate, but which in a transferred sense also means governor. As such it was a status name given either to people who held such a position, or as a theatrical name for one who played the part of a governor in the travelling theatres of the medieval period, or possibly as a nickname for one who was considered by his compatriots to have the airs and graces of a governor. Nicknames which later became surnames in their own right were highly popular in the Middle Ages, and many similar surnames exist including the popular King, Bishop, and Duke. In this case we have some very early recordings for the name in the surviving German records and registers. These include Hugo dictus Advocatus of Alpirsbach in 1256, although this was not a hereditary recording, and Hesse der Voeget from Andlau, which may have been. Later recordings include Henrich Foyd of Kassel in 1420, and Johan Voight of Steinbach in 1526.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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