Recorded in several forms as shown below, this is an Anglo-French surname of great antiquity. It has a number of possible origins. Firstly, it can be from a medieval nickname for someone thought to share some characteristic with the wolf, ferocity perhaps, or fleetness of foot. The derivation is from the word 'louet,' meaning a wolf cub. Secondly it could be locational, from any of the various places in Normandy called 'Livet'. Thirdly it could be purely English and a transposition from the personal names 'Leofgeat' or 'Leofgyth', both with a meaning of "beloved battle" or similar. The modern surname is recorded as Levett, Leavett, Leavitt, Levitt, Livett, Livitt, and possibly others. Early examples of the surname recording include Mary Levitt who married Peter Barber at Prestbury in Cheshire on May 23rd 1671, and Thomas, the son of Arthur Livitt who was christened at Acton by Nantwich, also Cheshire, on January 24th 1689. The first recorded spelling of the family name may be that of Manewine Leviet. This was dated 1188, in the calendar of the Abbot of Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, during the reign of King Henry 11nd of England, 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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