This most unusual and interesting name is of Old French origin, introduced into England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. It is one of that fascinating group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. These were given in the first instances with reference to a variety of personal features, such as physical attributes or peculiarities, or to mental and moral characteristics. In the case of the surname Luty, also found as Lawty, Laity, Lewt(e)y and Leuty, the name derives from the Old French term "leaut", in Middle English "lawty", loyalty, ultimately from the Latin "legalitas", trustworthy, faithful to obligations, which was used as a nickname for someone thought to embody these qualities. One Alan Leaute was recorded in the Cartulary of the Monastery of Ramsey (Cambridgeshire) in 1256, and examples of the name from London Church Registers include: the marriage of Willefred Luty and Margett Bracye, at St. Mary le Bow, on August 4th 1560, and the marriage of Anne Lutie and John Mynton, on January 28th 1576, at St. Margaret's, Westminster. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Huctredus Leute, which was dated 1212, in the "Feet of Fines of Lancashire", 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.
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