- This interesting surname is of early medieval English and Old French origin, and is an occupational name for a servant. The name derives from the Middle English, Old French "sergent", servant, from the Latin "serviens", present participle of "servire", to serve. The word also developed various specialized meanings, for example, a technical term for a tenant by military service below the rank of a knight, and as the name for any of certain administrative and legal officials in different localities. Robert le Serjaunt is noted in the 1221 Curia Regis Rolls of Leicestershire, and Thomas le Sergeant is listed in the Assize Rolls of Staffordshire (1266). A family by the name of Sargeant trace their descent from John le Sergeant, who held the office of sergeant of the forest of Dean from about 1327. In the modern idiom the surname has many variant spellings ranging from Sargant, Sargeant and Seargeant to Sergant, Searjeant and Sergeaunt. Recordings of the surname from London Church Registers include: the christening of John, son of Robert Sargeant, on November 8th 1580, at St. Botolph without Aldgate, and the christening of Thomas, son of Francis Sargeant, at St. Mary Mounthaw, on September 16th 1598. A Coat of Arms granted to the family depicts a black chevron between three black dolphins embowed on a silver shield, the Crest being a black dolphin embowed between two silver wings. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Edric le Sergant, which was dated 1185, in the "Documents relating to the Danelaw", Lincolnshire, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
Surnames reference. 2013.
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