Littler is an interesting example of that sizeable group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. These nicknames were given with reference to a variety of characteristics, such as physical attributes or peculiarities, mental and moral characteristics, and as a means of distinguishing two bearers of the same given name within the one family. The derivation, in this instance, is from the comparative degree of the Olde English pre 7th Century adjective "lytel" (Middle English "littel"), little, from "lyt", small, little. Similar nicknames are Junior and Senior, used to distinguish father and son bearing the same given name. In his "Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames", C.W. Bardsley states that Littler may also be locational in origin, and a dialectal variant of Littleover, a village in Derbyshire. On June 9th 1596, Ellis, son of Richard Littler, was christened in St. Andrew Undershaft, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Rondull Littlelor, which was dated January 16th 1539, witness at the christening of his son, Raphe, at Nantwich, Cheshire, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Bluff King Hal", 1509 - 1547. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was 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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