Recorded in a number of spellings as shown below, this is an English surname. It has however a number of possible origins, all different. Firstly it may have been a medieval nickname for someone thought to share the characteristics of the wolf, ferocity perhaps, or fleetness of foot. The derivation is from the Anglo-Norman French diminutive "levet", from "lou" or "leu", meaning wolf cub. A second possible Norman derivation is locational, from any of the various places in Normandy called "Livet". There are at least two English origins, both from personal names. The first is from "Lefget", meaning "beloved wise person," whilst the second is from the female personal name "Leofgyth", which has the unusual translation of "beloved battle". The modern surname can be found as Levet, Levett, Leavett, Leavitt, Livett, Livitt and others. Early examples of surname recordings include John Levett who married Anne Parsons on May 5th 1617, at St. Saviour Southwark, and Roger Levitt who married Anne Holmes at St Brides Fleet Street, on March 8th 1654, both city of London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Manewine Leviet. This was dated 1188, in the Calendar of the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, during the reign of King Henry 11nd, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surname-s in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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