Recorded in England as Letterese, and in France as Leterex, Terresse, Letessier, Tessier, Letixier, Tixier, Letertre, Leteurtre, and probably others, this is a locational surname. It apparently originates from either Le Terrisse, a village in the departement of Massif-Central, and meaning a place on a ridge or terrace, or from Le Tertre, of which there are a number of examples, and meaning a mound. This is almost certainly a reference to an ancient burial site. Locational surnames, wherever they are found, are usually 'from' names. That is to say surnames that were given to people as easy identification, after they left their original homes to live somewhere else. The further they moved, the more likely that the name spelling became corrupted. If they travelled overseas, and especially to a country with a markedly different language, anything could happen to the spelling, and usually did! Although in the past this could be put down to indifferent education, the practice still continues into the 21st century. Examples of recordings taken from surviving church registers of France, the majority being destroyed in the Revolution of 1792 when the church was banned, include Claude Teresse, at Maron, Meurthe-et-Moselle, on November 9th 1673, and Alexander Leterex, baptised at Petits-Mars, Loire-Atlantique, on July 7th 1854.
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