Recorded in the spellings of Lade, Lathe, Lait, Laite, and Late, this surname is English and residential. It derives from the pre 7th century Olde Norse 'hlatha' meaning a barn, and was originally given either as a topographic name to one who lived by a barn, or as a metonymic occupational name to a worker at the barn(s). The Danish form of the name was 'lade', meaning a granary, and both forms were retained in the Medieval English of the northern counties where the surname was first recorded, (see below). An early example of the recording of the surname taken from an authentic surviving register is that of Gilbert del Lathes, in the 'Register of the Free Men of the city of York', and dated 1296. Later examples taken from early church registers include: on August 19th 1633, William Laight and Sara Oldis were married in St. Mary Athill, London, and on July 9th 1673, Elizabeth Late married Thomas Cheek at the church of All Hallows, London Wall, whilst the marriage of Sarah Laite and Thomas Holmis Ceal took place in St. Luke's, Old Street, Finsbury, London in 1801. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de la Lade, which was dated 1273, in the Hundred Rolls of Lancashire, during the reign of King Edward 1, known as the Hammer of the Scots, 1272 - 1307.
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