This unusual name is of Scottish origin and sometimes Northern Irish, it is a nickname or a byname for a small person, derived from the gaelic word "beag" meaning "little", "small of stature" and obviously descriptive of the original bearer or bearers. One "Malise Beg" is recorded as a burgess of Stirling before 1300 and "John Beg" was one of the workmen employed in the construction of Cardross Castle in 1329. Other old forms of the name are "Bege" (1574) and "Beige" (1600). There are a number of variants of the modern surname, "Begg" and "Bigg", the patronymics i.e., "son of Begg", "Beggs" and "Biggs" and the Irish forms "Beggan" and "Beggin". "Margaret Begg" daughter of James and Janet, was christened in Falkirk, Stirling in May 1644. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Malcolm Begge, Seneschal of "Maldoweny", and Earl of Levenax, which was dated 1225, Records of Levenax, during the reign of King Alexander 11, King of Scotland, 1214 - 1249. 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.