This is a French diminutive form of the Italian female personal name Viola meaning "a Violet". Other old forms of the name, Violette and Violetta were popular in France and Italy during the Middle Ages (the period from the fall of the Roman Empire to about 1450). The flower is symbolically associcated with modesty. The final "et(te)" on the name is a French diminutive suffix. The surname Violet with variant forms Vyolet(t), Violett and Viollet is well recorded in London Church Registers from the mid 16th Century onwards. On September 19th 1544 Sthevyn Vyolet(t) was christened at St. Martin, Ludgate and on November 30th 1589 Ame Violet daughter of Henri Violet was christened at St. Margaret's Westminster. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Franssoise Viollet, daughter of Marc and Elizabeth Viollet. which was dated December 25th 1712, christened at Rider Court, French Huguenot Church, Westminster. during the reign of Queen Anne, 1702 - 1714. 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.