Recorded as Cutten, Cuttin, Cutton, Cutting and the patronymic Cuttings, this interesting and unusual surname is medieval English. As Cuth or Cutt it was originally a nickname, being a short form of the early given name Cudbeort, the later Cuthbert, meaning bright-famous! To Cuth or Cutt was added the diminutive suffix of -en, -in, or - ing all broadly meaning little, to give son of Cutt or Little Cutt. It is said that the name developed its popularity because of St Cudbeort, a 7th Century saint, who was firstly bishop of Hexham, and later bishop of Lindisfarne. He created such a Christian cult around him that the name remained very popular as a personal name, (as well as being a surname with some forty spellings), as late as the 20th century in Northern England, and parts of Scotland. Examples of early surname recordings include John Cutting, master of the ship Francis, which sailed from Ipswich, Suffolk, on April 30th 1634, to the new colony of Virginia in the Americas, whilst in 1641 a John Cuttin and his wife Lidia were christening witnesses at the church of St Mary Whitechapel in the city of London, on March 11th of that year. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Cutting. This was dated 1221, in the pipe rolls of the county of Norfolk, during the reign of King Henry IIIrd of England, 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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