Recorded in a number of spellings including Dite, Ditt, and Ditte, the patronymics Ditts and Dittson, the diminutives Dittie and Ditty, and the occupational Diter, Ditter and Ditour, this is an English surname. However it probably derives from the pre 10th century Old French word "ditour", introduced by the Normans after the Invasion of 1066. If so it describes a song writter or composer, one who write "ditties", although it may also have described a town crier, a person who maded public announcements in a town or court. The surname first appears in recordings in the mid 14th Century, (see below), whilst examples taken from early surviving registers of the city of London include: George, the son of Richard Ditter who was christened at St. Margarets Westminster on July 17th 1587, Mary Dittie, christened at St Peter-le-Poer on November 2nd 1620, Sarah Dyter christened on May 25th 1701, Jesse Ditty, christened at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on January 3rd 1713, and Edward Dittson, who was a witness at St Andrews Holborn, on February 4th 1754. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Helewisa Ditr. This was dated 1327, in the Subsidy Tax Rolls of the county of Sussex, during the reign of King Edward 111rd of England, 1327 - 1377. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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