The name derives either from the pre 7th Century word “wag” meaning to shake, as with laughter, and hence a nickname for a jolly person, or from the given name Wag, Wig, Wigod or Wigot. These latter examples translate as “war god” from the words “wig” and “got.”
Wigot is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 in the counties of Sussex, Bedfordshire, and Berkshire, and as Wigod in Devonshire, ‘the son of Waket’ an ancient although now long forgotten personal name.
The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Wiget. This was dated 1180, in the Pipe Rolls of Worcestershire, during the reign of King Henry 11, 1154 – 1189.
Records of 1273 mention Henry Waket, from County Lincolnshire, Hugh Waket from County Berkshire and John Wagg of Yorkshire in the Hundred Rolls of that county.
Edward Wegget of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379.
Church records from the Elizabethan and Stuart times include the christening of John Waggat at Farnham, in Surrey, on July 13th 1556, Thomasen Wagg, who was buried at St James Clerkenwell, in the city of London, on December 9th 1607, and John Waggitt who married Margarett Bowring at Berwick upon Tweed, Northumberland on October 13th 1656. Thomas Waggitt, aged 17, who left London on the ship “Thomas and John”, bound for Virginia in 1635, was the earliest recorded name bearer to settle in America.