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LEGATE Family History

This unusual and interesting name is of early medieval origin, and is an occupational surname for an ambassador or deputy. The derivation is from the Old French and Middle English word "legat", itself derived from the Latin "legis", meaning to appoint or ordain, but ultimately from lex, meaning law. In addition to being an official name for a legate, an official elected to represent his village at the manor court, the surname may derive from a pageant-name similar to the medieval surnames of official position such as Lord, Knight, King and Bishop, these being frequent characters in medieval pageants.

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