Recorded in many forms as shown below, this interesting surname is medieval Anglo-Scottish, although strictly of French origins. It derives from the French word "petit". It was used as a nickname either for the youngest of twins or children with the same name, or for a small person, or more likely given the robust humour of those Chaucerian times, a very large one! The recording of Walter le Petiit, in the Wiltshire Assize Rolls of 1249 could be any of these origins. 'Small' was also an element in early occupational surnames such as Walter Petitclark of Gloucestershire in 1304; and John Petijohan in the Subsidy Tax registers of 1327, in Sussex. This surname is first recorded in the 12th century, and in the modern idiom can be found as Patey, Paty, Pattie, Patty, Pady, Paddy, Paddie, Petty, Pettie, Petit, Petyt, Pettitt, Pittet and possibly others. In Scotland examples of recordings include Fergus de Pety in the parish of Fyvy who was excommunicated in 1382, and Master Duncan Petit or Petyt, the archdeacon of Glasgow in 1395. In the city of London register recordings include the marriage of John Petty and Margaret Rogers at St. Dunstan's in the East, Stepney, on June 22nd 1568, Mary Pattie, christened at St. Margaret Pattens, on March 10th 1695, whilst Mary Paddy was christened at St. Pauls Deptford, in Kent, on August 8th 1739. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Petie. This was dated 1198, in the Feet of Fines of Nottinghamshire, during the reign of King Richard 1st known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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