Littleton

SDB Popularity Ranking: 3649

Last name: Littleton

SDB Popularity ranking: 3649

This surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from any of the various places in England names with the Olde English pre 7th Century "lytel", small, with "tun", enclosure, settlement. These places include: North, Middle and South Littleton in Worcestershire, recorded variously as "Litletona, Lytletun" and "Lytlen tunes" in the Saxon Chartulary, dated 709 -860; Littleton (upon Severn) and West Littleton, Gloucestershire, appearing respectively as "Lytletun" in Saxon Documents, dated 986, and as "Litentune" in the Domesday Book of 1086; also, Littleton in Dorset, Hampshire, Somerset and Wiltshire. Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. Early examples of the surname include: Michael de Lutelton (Wiltshire, 1273), and John Lytelton (Nottinghamshire, 1416). Lyttleton has been a Worcestershire surname since 1358, and Hagley Hall in that county was built by the first Lord Lyttleton. Among the several notable bearers of the name listed in the "Dictionary of National Biography" are: Sir Thomas Littleton (1422 - 1481), sheriff of Worcestershire, 1447, and author of the renowned treatise on "Tenures", written in law-French, and long considered the principle authority on English real property law, and also Sir Edward, first baron Littleton (1589 - 1645), recorder of London, 1631. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Driu de Litletun, which was dated 1210, in the "Pipe Rolls of Wiltshire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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.

Surname scroll for: Littleton

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