This interesting and unusual name is probably an Anglo-Saxon pre 7th century personal name. It derives, it is claimed by the late Professor Reaney, to be from the Old German 'Hlodhard' meaning 'Glory-strong' and as can be appreciated, if this is so has undergone very considerable transposition to the point where its origins are almost unrecognisable. The famous Victorian etymologist Canon C W Bardsley admitted that the origin had defeated him, whilst we feel that perhaps an alternative derivation could be from the Olde English 'flote'. This was a nickname for a sailor, from the word 'flota' - meaning a boat. In the modern idiom the spellings include Flewitt, Flewett, Flowitt, and Fluit, whilst examples of early recordings include Jane Flewet baptised at St Peters Cornhill, London in 1561, and Owen Evans who married Margaret Flewett by civil license in January 1572. Other examples taken from the church registers include William Flewitt who married Joane Vaux on 25th July 1665 at St Giles Cripplegate, London, and James Flewitt who married Elizabeth Ash on January 15th 1740, at Old Street Church, Finsbury, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hubert Flohard, which was dated 1130, in the pipe rolls of Leicestershire, during the reign of King Henry 1, known as 'The lion of justice', 1100 - 1130. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as 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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