Recorded in the spellings of Patin, Patkin, the double diminutive Patinkin, and others, see below, this very unusual surname is English, but of medieval French origins. It derives from either the baptismal 'Piers or Pierre' (the English Peter), or the endearment 'Petit' used, when applied to names, to mean 'Little One'. As such it is found in the French diminutive surnames Pechin, Petetin, Pettet, and Pittet. The medieval and later English spellings are Peterkin, Petkin, Petkins, and Petkens, with examples being shown below.The name was introduced into England at the time of the Norman Conquest, Petrus de Lincoln being recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book, whilst John Le Petit, is found in the Rolls of Essex for the year 1228. The church records clearly show the surname development over the centuries, and these show that as 'Pitkin' the name is recorded in London in Elizabethan times, as is the rarer Patkin, with Walter Patkin marrying Elizabeth Lussing at St Margaret's Church, Westminster on July 1st 1593. Nearly one hundred years later, Judith Petkin married Benjamin Doncaster at the famous church of St Katherines by the Tower (of London), on July 20th 1675, whilst on April 18th 1744 Thomas Petken married Ann Stiles at St Martins Outwich, London. The first recorded spelling in church registers may be that of Margaret Pitkin, which was dated February 12th 1575, when she was married at the church of St Lawrence Pountney, city of London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st, 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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