Last name: Littlejohn
This is surely one of the most famous of all English surnames, being associated with the outlaw Robin Hood. It is however one of a quite large group of medieval surnames which include the prefix 'Little' as a means of endearment or explanation. These include the spellings as Littleboy, Littlechild, Littlefair, Littlejohn, Littlepage, and Littleproud, and all use the prefix to suggest a younger son or perhaps a daughter, who was much loved. However in the case of Littlejohn, also spelt Litteljohn and Littlejohns, and given the robust humour of those Chaucerian times, it may also have the alternative meaning of a very large man, as in the case of the famous Little John, also known as John Little, the second in command to the famous Robin Hood, and his band of outlaws in Sherwood Forest. There the reference is clearly sardonic, which seems to apply to many medieval nicknames, in effect being the opposite of what they seem to means. About fifteen percent of all surnames from the medieval period, when surnames were first created, are essentially nicknames, and these names shown above are good examples of the genre. Early recordings taken from the surviving rolls and registers of the Middle Ages include: Robert Littelboie in the Friary Rolls of Leicester in the year 1206, Ralph Litechild in the Pipe Rolls of Leicester in 1209, Agnes Lutfair of Stafford in 1381, Litel jon of Colchester in 1350, Ralph Litelpage of Durham in 1314, and Goderun Litteprot of Hampshire in the Winton Rolls of 1066.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research www.surnamedb.com 1980 - 2015
Want to dig deeper into your family history? Take a look at our page on building a Family Tree
. Or get scientific and enter the exciting world of Ancestral DNA
Many people do think it is Native American. That fact alone made it very hard for my father to get a job as a college student, as he lived in Nebraska; where Natives are rather shunned upon.
My grandmother maiden name was Littlejohn. My great grandfather was full blooded indian and I seen a picture of him.
My grandmother was from Arthur City, Texas. I was born in Nebraska and grow up in Pennsylvania. Now I live in California....I have Indian ancestry on both sides of the family. My father was from Sapulpa, Oklahoma. My great grand mother on my daddy's side was Louisana Creole. Are you on Facebook?
Karen that left comment I live in Houston, Tx and on my grandmother side is Louisiana creole and on my dad side is indian that's how my last name is Littlejohn.
Hi Jonathan, I'm the Karen that left the message like 10 months ago. I'm still trying to find some research on the Littlejohn name. I met a Pastor of a church in Los Angeles and his last name was Littlejohn. He said he was born in Waco, Tx. I told him we are probably related in some way or another.
There are quite a few Littlejohn's of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in Cherokee , NC.
I always thought this was a Native American surname