This rare and unusual surname is of Olde French origins. It is claimed to derive from 'Pierre', the French form of Peter, and to be a double diminutive. In effect it means 'the son of Little Peter', although the usual surname form of 'Little Peter' is Perrin, Perkin or Parkin. According to the late Professor P H Reaney, the well known authority on English surnames, the development of the name in the medieval period was from Pierre to 'Per' plus 'el' being a short form of 'little', plus 'et', a short form of 'petit'. This explanation does rather stretch the imagination. Be that as it may the name was a very early surname and the charters of the time give several examples. These include Walter Parlet of Suffolk in 1218, in the 'Feet of Fines' court rolls, whilst William Perlett is recorded in the Hundred Rolls of Essex for the year 1273. The name is recorded in the church registers from the early 17th century, in the spellings of Parlett, Parlatt, Parlott, and the very rare Parlot, which is the French form. Examples of these recordings include Nathaniell Parlet and his wife Abigail, who were married at St Brides church, Fleet Street, London, on October 22nd 1620. Their children were born as follows - Abigail in 1623, Jane in 1624, Edmund in 1628, and finally Magdalen in 1631. Richard Parlatt was recorded at St Olaves, Southwark on April 1st 1655, and George Bridges Rodney Parlott was christened at St George in the East, Stepney, on September 1st 1782. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Herlewin Perlet, which was dated 1180, in the pipe rolls of the county of Norfolk, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as 'the church builder', 1154 - 1189. 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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