Although these people didn’t have their own religion it seems they had their own culture which is why they must have stayed together as a group rather than breaking off into individual family units and integrating into normal society. That’s the intriguing thing that I don’t understand, if they looked the same as everyone else and weren’t diseased in any way why didn’t they integrate? For instance, a family group could quite easily move to another village anonymously and set up home couldn’t they? and even if something like their name was an obvious sign of their true origins there would be ways around that as well. What made them live as a community for so long if the persecution was as bad as the reports say it was?
Or perhaps they were like the Amish people, perhaps they just wanted to be different and accepted the abuse until such a time came that they could contest their case legally as they did eventually.
Anyway....a bit more on the etymology and origins
The origins of both the term "Cagots" (and "Agotes", "Capots", "Caqueux", etc.) and the Cagots themselves are uncertain. It has been suggested that they were descendants of the Visigoths, and the name Cagot derives the name from caas (dog) and "Goth". Yet in opposition to this etymology is the fact that the word "cagot" is first found in this form no earlier than the year 1542. 16th century French historian Pierre de Marca, in his Histoire de Béarn, propounds the reverse - that the word signifies "hunters of the Goths", and that the Cagots were descendants of the Saracens. The theory that the Cagots were "descendants of Moorish soldiers left over from the 8th century Muslim invasion of Spain and France", a 2008 article in The Independent states, "is supported by many French experts."
In analogy with the Greek word "caco" (bad), near the Breton word "Kakouz" which means "leper", "stingy", it would undoubtedly be preferable simply the origin of the Vulgar Latin verb "CACAR" . This etymology, the most credible, is given by Rabelais . In the Isle ringing, it shows the suffering of bigots harpies disease , the cholera . Rabelais also uses the term "bigot" in a passage of Gargantua about the Abbey of Thelema : An inscription on the door prohibits the entry to "hypocrites, bigots, hypocrites."
Prosaically, the name comes from cago, the first person present indicative tense CACAR Vulgar Latin that evolved into Occitan cagar, ( shit ), "bigot" is actually a derogatory name occasionally, the more neutral crestian being more represented, for example in the names . . The pronunciation is not [ca'go] but [ca'gòt]: as-OT is a diminutive Occitan , bigot can be literally translated as "dung" or "little shit".
Others have claimed that Cagot just a cagoule. But there is evidence that the word cagoule is younger than Cagot. cagoule only dates from the sixteenth century, corruption Cogule (cuculla), a kind of hood or cap.
The original Gothic are excluded: they claimed that Cagot was formed by contraction of caas-goths, Gothic Dog, as usual insulting name 507 to refer the Goths because of their commitment to Arianism, the subject of scandal and hatred for Catholics. According to this hypothesis, this race, dedicated to the persecution of the Franks after their victory at the Battle of Vouillé, in 507, when Clovis killed Alaric II, king of the Visigoths, was forced to hide in the most secret recesses of the mountains to keep his religious habits (such as the Kabyle Berbers and refugees in the Atlas and Aures). It would, in addition to inbreeding, contracted leprosy and hypothyroidism, endemic diseases which, combined together, would reduce this race to a state similar to that of idiots (compare the cretin of the Alps). When, afterwards, she would have abjured Arianism to meet the Roman communion, the community of Cagots would have been regarded as a set of lepers and foul. But the term "Cagot" only appears around 1300, making this hypothesis implausible historically, etymologically implausible. P. Mr. Quitard offers a fantastic alternative hypothesis : Court Gebelin derived the word caco-deus, reported by Ducange. Caco, meaning false, would become a Cagot, hypocrite, hypocrite and as always the name of God in his mouth, and uses it for anything, he was nicknamed, among people who call God God, God-kakle, cackles Christi, and gradually cak-god and Cagot.