This surname, with its preposition "von" taken as a mark of aristocracy, is of habitational origins. It can be either German or Dutch, and it derives from the early medieval term Hag or Haag, referring to one who was residing at a fenced or walled enclosure, one which probably had defensive properties. The name can be locational, and refer to an actual place, site or lost village, the most famous example being "The Hague", the city in the Netherlands. In the case of von Hagt the name would seem to derive from the province of Westphalia in the former state of Lower Rhine, in the mid 17th Century as shown below. Other recordings include Johan Justins von Hagt, a witness at the christening of his son Conrad, on December 1st 1758, at Burgensteinfurt, Westfalen, and Jan Hendrik Hagt, who married Gertruyde Stechnysen, at Goch, Rheinland, on September 9th 1792. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Catharina von Hagt, which was dated March 1st 1667, christened at Gescher, Westfalen, Germany, during the reign of Leopold 1, Holy Roman Emperor, 1658 - 1705. 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.