Recorded in a number of spellings including Linfet, Linfit, Linfitt, and the relatively more popular Linfoot, this is an English surname. It is locational from any of the three villages called either Linthwaite, but generally referred to as Linfit, in the Colne Valley near Huddersfield, a hamlet called Linfit, just south of the town, or Linfitts, described as "an area within the town of Saddleworth, in the West Riding of Yorkshire". Linfitts and Saddleworth have been part of the county of Lancashire since 1974. The place name in all cases means "the place where flax was grown" from the pre 7th century Olde English words "lind" meaning flax and "thwaite", a clearing or perhaps a fenced farm. Locational surnames were usually "from" names. That is to say names given to people who had left their original homesteads and moved somewhere else. The easiest way to identify such strangers was to call him or sometimes her, by the name of the place from whence they came. Spelling being at best erratic, and local dialects very thick, often lead to the development of "sounds like" spellings. Examples of the surname recording taken from surviving church registers of the county of Yorkshire include: Ann Linfet at Ecclesfield, on July 12th 1618, Thomas Lynfoot, at Little Ouseburn, near York, on February 28th 1682, Elizabeth Linfoot at Monk Fryston, near Wakefield, on August 7th 1688, and finally John Linfitt, who was a witness at Sheffield Cathedral, on June 20th 1753.
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