Recorded in a number of spellings including Plaid, Plait, Playe, and Plet (France), and Plaide, Pleat, Plett, Pletts, and Plott (England), this is a surname of French origins. The derivation is from the medieval word "plait", which in the sense of the period, and as applied to a surname would seem to be either a nickname for a man of fashion, or more likely a designer of the latest fashions. The name in England is Huguenot, that is to say that it was originally born by French Protestants who fled the persecution in their own country between the years 1580 and 1750. It is known that many of these people were highly skilled artisans, and particularly so in the textile industry. This fact would seem to confirm the original meaning of the name to be that of a clothes designer. Unfortunately the early recordings in France are very poor, many registers being destroyed in the Revolution of 1789 - 1799, when the church was banned. However we have been able to obtain a number of early recordings from the 17th century, particularly in the Department of Meurthe-et-Moselle, which seems to have been the epi-centre of the name. These include Jean Joseph Plaid of Gerbeviller, on March 19th 1670, and Jean Plait of Pagny sur Moselle, on January 13th 1707. In England Marthe Plet, the daughter of Jacque Plet, was christened at the French Church, Threadneedle Street, London, on January 3rd 1686, and later James Lewis Pletts, was a witness at St Thomas's church, Stepney, on July 1st 1852. The first recording that we have been able to find, is that of Magdelaine Playe, at the town of Loromontzey, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France, on August 9th 1658.
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