This English name PRUITT is of uncertain origin, but originally derived from the Old French 'prous' and was a nickname given to one who was proud and haughty, brave and valiant. 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 could also have been a regional name for someone who came from Prussia, a former state of north Germany, so called from the tribal name of Prussen, a Baltic tribe displaced by the Germans during the 13th century. The name is also spelt PROUSE, PREWSE, PRUCE, PRUE, PREWTT and PRUETT. The name was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066, and PROUZ (without surname) recorded in the year 1086 in County Kent, appears to be the first of the name on record. Many of the early names recorded in medieval documents denote noble families but many also indicate migration from the continent during, and in the wake of, the Norman invasion of 1066. There was a constant stream of merchants, workmen and others arriving in England during this time. In 1086 the Record of Great Inquisition of lands of England, their extent, value, ownership and liabilities was made by order of William the Conqueror. It is known as the Domesday book. Other records of the name mention Richard le Prouz who was recorded in the year 1273 in the County of Devon. William Prous of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Edward McLean married Mary Prowse at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1758.
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