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Leat Coat of Arms / Leat Family Crest

Leat Coat of Arms / Leat Family Crest

The French name LEAT is a variant of the name Lett and was originally a female baptismal name 'the daughter of Lettuce' a nickname for someone who was full of happiness and gaeity. The name was originally rendered in the Latin form LAETITIA. 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. Early records of the name mention Nicholas filius Lete who was documented in the year 1273 in County Bedford. Willelmus Letis of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. The acquisition of surnames in Europe during the past eight hundred years has been affected by many factors, including social class and social structure, naming practices in neighbouring cultures, and indigenous cultural tradition. On the whole, the richer and more powerful classes tended to acquire surnames earlier than the working classes and the poor, while surnames were quicker to catch on in urban areas than in more sparsely populated rural areas. These facts suggest that the origin of surnames is associated with the emergence of bureaucracies. As long as land tenure, military service, and fealty were matters of direct relationship between a lord and his vassals, the need did not arise for fixed distinguishing epithets to mark out one carl from another. But as societies became more complex, and as such matters as the management of tenure and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to have a more complex system of nomenclature to distinguish one individual from another reliably and unambiguously. Later instances of the name mention Thomas Leett and Rebecca Wittaker who were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1745, and Richard Hammond and Ann Lettes were married at the same church in 1782.


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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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