Recorded in several forms including Polett, Pollett, Pollitt, Poulett, Powlett and Pullett, is regarded as English, but may in many cases, have French antecedents. It has three possible origins. Firstly it may derive from the early English and French nickname personal name Pol, itself from the ancient Greek name Hipolito. This had the elements "hippos", meaning horses, and "luein", to loose. To the name Pol was added in medieval times the diminutive suffix -itt or -ett, meaning Little Pol or son of Pol. It would seem that a second influx of the name came in the 17th century when French protestants known as Huguenots fleeing religious persecution in France entered in some numbers. A recording from that period is that of Jonathan, the son of Nicholas Pollet and Marie Cateau, who was christened at the Walloon and Strangers Church, in the city of London, on September 24th 1592. The second possibility is that the name is a diminutive of the male given name Paul, itself from the Latin "paulus" meaning small, whist the third possibility is locational. In this case it is from the village of Pawlett in Somerset, spelt as Pavelet in the famous Domesday Book of 1086. This is named from the pre 7th century Old English elements "pal", meaning a pole or marker and "fleot", a stream. The first recorded spelling of the family name in any form is that of Walter Polite. This was dated 1222, in the Curia Regis rolls of Northamptonshire, during the reign of King Henry 111rd, 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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