Recorded as Streat, Strete, Street, the rare diminutives Streeten, Streeton, Strethell, Strettell and Strettle, as well as the habitational forms of Streeter and Streets, this is an English medieval surname. It can be either locational from the town of Street in the county of Somerset, or the villages of Street in Hereford or Kent, or topographical and describe a person who lived by a street or in the case of the diminutives, a small or narrow street. It derives from the Olde English pre 6th century word 'straet', meaning a paved road, although originally it may have had the specific meaning of a Roman road, all known places being situated on such roads. Straet derives from the Latin word 'strassa.' All roads before the Roman Invasion of England in the year 55 a.d, being called 'wey or way'. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown below whilst other examples include William de la Stret of Devon in 1228 and John Streter in the Pipe Rolls of Sussex in 1332. Later in the church recordings after the year 1535 we have recordings such as Nicholas Strettell at St Giles Cripplegate in the city of London in 1654, and Ralph Strettle at Allhallows church, London Wall, in 1680. The first recording was that of Modbert de Strete of Somerset in 1130 during the reign of King Henry 1st (1100 - 1135). Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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