This rare and interesting surname is a variant of Vilalta, which is of Catalan origin, from north east Spain and the Balearic islands. The surname is locational from any of the places so called, such as in the province of Lerida, in Spain. The placenames are derived from the Catalan elements "vila", settlement, from the Latin "villa", which originally meant country house or estate, and "alta", high, from the Latin "alta", thus, "the high settlement". Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. Among the recordings in Spain are the marriages of Matheu Vilalta and Elleanor Masso on December 30th 1595 at Valls, Tarragona and of Mariangela Vilalta and Joan Caulet Senme on November 19th 1697 at Sane Rere, Madrona, Lerida. Villalta is a very rare spelling of the surname. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Joan Vilalta, (marriage to Magdalena Caselles), which was dated September 16th 1539, Sallenti, Lerida, Spain, during the reign of King Charles 1 of Spain, 1516 - 1556. 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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