The surname of CHATT was a nickname given to a person 'with a sleekness of manner'. Surnames having a derivation from nicknames form the broadest and most miscellaneous class of surnames, encompassing many different types of origin. The most typical classes refer adjectivally to the general physical aspect of the person concerned, or to his character. Many nicknames refer to a man's size or height, while others make reference to a favoured article of clothing or style of dress. Many surnames derived from the names of animals and birds. In the Middle Ages ideas were held about the characters of other living creatures, based on observation, and these associations were reflected and reinforced by large bodies of folk tales featuring animals behaving as humans. It is a well known Norfolk surname at least six centuries old in that county. The earliest instance of the name appears to be LUFMANCAT (without surname) who was listed as a tenant of the Domesday Book of 1086. ther records of the name mention Elyas le Cat, 1273, County Norfolk and Henry le Catt was recorded in County Norfolk during the reign of Edward I (1272-1307). William le Chat appears in County Norfolk in 1377, and William Catte was the rector of Edingthorpe, County Norfolk in the year 1465. James Catt was the rector of Gresham, County Norfolk in 1678. Aviss, daughter of Thomas Catt was baptised at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in 1692, and Richard Catt and Mary Stedman were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1803. A notable member of the name was Carrie Catt (1859-1947) the American reformer and pacifist, born in Wisconsin. She was educated at Iowa State College and joined the staff of the National American Woman Suffrage Association in 1890, later becoming its president. She helped establish the League of Women Voters in 1919, and spent the later years of her life campaigning for world peace. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory.
Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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