This name has three possible origins. The first being an English diminutive of the personal name Peter, from the Greek "petros" meaning a "rock". The name may also have originated as a nickname for a delicate person. "Peat" being an older form of "Pet" as the following quotations suggest: "A pretty peat" - The Taming of the Shrew, and, "As sick as a peate" - Notes and Queries (1857). Finally it may be of locational origin i.e. "at the peat". One Richard de (of) Peyt is recorded in Somerset in 1327. However, we consider this to be the most unlikely source. In the modern idiom the name is spelt Peat, Peatt and Peet(t). One Thomas Peat (1708-1780), was an almanac-maker and edited the "Gentleman's Diary". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Peat "a husbandman of Derbieshier" which was dated April 3 1635 - He sailed from London to New England on the ship "Hopewell" during the reign of King Charles 1, known as "The Martyr" 1625 - 1649 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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