This name is of English locational origin from one of the estimated seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets that have now disappeared from the maps in Britain. The prime cause of these "disappearances" was the enforced "clearing" and dispersal of the former inhabitants to make way for sheep pastures at the height of the wool trade in the 14th Century. Natural causes such as the Black Death of 1348, also contributed to the lost village phenomenon. The placename is made up of the Old English components "praett", a trick or cunning, astute, found by itself in the 11th Century, as a nickname for a clever trickster, and -ington (from -ington), "-ing", meaning "people of" and "tun", a settlement, homestead. Hence together they give us the "homestead, settlement of the people of Pratt". At Hartlebury in Worcester, Elizabeth, daughter of James and Francis Prattenntn, was christened on January 8th 1628. James, son of James and Mary Prattington was christened there also on January 12th 1732. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Mary, daughter of William and Margerie Prattenton, which was dated September 28th 1584, at Hartlebury, Worcester, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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