The surname of NITTO was derived from the Latin 'Benedictus' a name meaning blessed. It was a popular font name in the 12th and 13th centuries. This medieval given name owes its popularity in the Middle Ages chiefly to St. Benedict (480-550) who founded the Benedictine order of monks at Monte Cassino and wrote a monastic rule that formed a model for all subsequent rules. No doubt the meaning of the Latin word also contributed to its popularity as a given name, especially in Romance countries in the 12th century. The Latin form of the name is found in England alongside versions derived from the Old French form Beneit, Benoit, which was common among the Normans. The bulk of European surnames in countries such as England and France were formed in the 13th and 14th centuries. The process started earlier and continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the 11th century people did not have surnames, whereas by the 15th century they did. The origins of Italian surnames are not clear, and much work remains to be done on medieval Italian records. It seems that fixed bynames, in some cases hereditary, were in use in the Venetian Republic by the end of the 10th century. The typical Italian surname endings are 'i' and 'o', the former being characteristic of northern Italy. The singular form 'o' is more typical of southern Italy. The name was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066. Early records of the name in England and Scotland give various instances of names which derive from the root Benedictus such as, Benedictus (without surname) witnessed a charter of the sale of land in Perth in 1219, and appears to be the first of the name on record in Scotland. Benedict the dean, witnessed a gift to the mill of Wystoun to the Hospital of Soltre in 1249. Benedictus Kepeherm, 1193, County Yorkshire. Joanna Benet of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Thomas, son of Bennett Calwaye, was baptised at St. Columb Major in Cornwall in the year 1581. William Stiche and Bennett Bennet were married at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in 1577. John, son of Thomas Bennet was baptised at the same church in 1578. Arnold Bennet (1817-1931) was the famous novelist whose books depicted life in the potteries.
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