This unusual name has two possible origins, the first of which is from an Olde Norse byname, ‘Hali’, in Olde Danish ‘Hake’, given originally to someone with a hooked nose, and popular in medieval England as ‘Hack’ or ‘Hake’. A number of surnames were generated from this source, Hackett and Haggett being diminutive forms of the name, recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as ‘Hako’ and in 1218 as ‘Hacke’, while Haket de Ridefort is recorded in Lincolnshire in 1160.

The modern surname can be found as Haggett or Hackett, and in fact the two forms are found side by side in some medieval recordings, as in Rolland Haget or Haket (1158, Yorkshire). The marriage of William Hackett and Sarah Shepherd was recorded in London in 1802.The Coat of Arms most associated with the family was granted to Sir Thomas Hackett, Lord Mayor of Dublin in 1688; descended from an ancient family long settled in Ireland and has the splendid blazon of a red shield thereon three silver hakes haurient in fesse, on a gold chief three trefoils slipped proper. The crest being, out of a mural coronet argent, an eagle displayed with two heads sable, with the motto; Spec mea Deus.

The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph Hacget, which was dated 1131, in the Fees Book of Durham Priory, during the reign of King Henry 1, known as the Lion of Justice, 1100 – 1135. 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.

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