Recorded as Gravett, Grevatt, Gravatt, Gravet, Gravat, and Grevet, this is an English surname, but probably of Norman French origins. However spelt It is quite rare, and research would seem to indicate that there are three possible origins. The first is that it is a medieval diminutive of either the occupational name Graff, a derivate of the the pre 7th century French word "grafe" and meaning a quill, and hence a clerk or scribe. To this has been added the diminutive suffix "-et" to give son of Graff or perhaps Little Graff. A second similar alternative is from the ancient personal name of Germanic origins "Creiz". This in Norman French was "Grev" and again to this was probably attached the diminutive suffix "et" to give Little Grev, or son of Grev. Other alternatives which cannot be dismissed are again diminutives but from the pre 7th century Olde English words "graeve or graefe" meaning a wood, or perhaps more likely from "greve" meaning a steward, and hence an occupational name. About fifteen percent of all European surnames have a nickname origin, and for about a similar percentage there is no absolutely proven etymology. This surname may well appear in both categories. The surname is well recorded in the surviving church registers of the diocese of Greater London from Elizabethan times. These recordings include Barabara Gravatt, the daughter of John Gravatt, who was christened at the church of St Martin Ludgate, on October 29th 1587, Ann Gravet, who married Michael Beamon at Hillingdon church, on May 2nd 1708, and Anne Grevatt, the daughter of James Grevatt, who was christened at St Mary Lambeth, on November 23rd 1834.
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