The surname of LEAVITT was of two fold-origin. It was a locational name 'of Livet' the name of several places in Normandy. The name was brought to England with the Conqueror in 1066. It was also from the Old English given name of LEOFGEAT, composed of the elements 'leof' (dear, beloved) and the tribal name 'Geat'. This name was known in England before the Conquest, but it was spread by the Normans, among whom it was very popular. The earliest of the name on record appears to be Leuiet (without surname) who was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086. Lefget appears in County Suffolk in the year 1095, and Leuiet was documented in County Norfolk in 1166. Gilbert Liuet was recorded in Gloucestershire in 1200. As early as the year 1100, it was quite common for English people to give French names to their children, and the earliest instances are found among the upper classes, both the clergy and the patrician families. The Norman-French names used were generally the names most commonly used by the Normans, who had introduced them into England during the Norman Invasion of William the Conqueror in 1066. Most of the European surnames were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name. Other records of the name also include a William Levet who appears in 1273 in County Lincolnshire and Eustacius de Livet of County Yorkshire was recorded during the reign of Henry III (1216-1272). Later instances of the name mention John Shelley and Johanna Levet, who were married in London in 1537 and Richard Levett married Anne Sweetapple in London in the year 1694. (No church mentioned). John Leavett of County Sussex, registered at Oxford University in the year 1590, and Thomas Levet enroled there in 1610.
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