Author Topic: Surname Pratlett  (Read 761 times)

Offline DebbieDee

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Surname Pratlett
« on: Thursday 19 May 05 03:05 BST (UK) »
For a bit of fun (sad I know  ::)) I was trying to work out which of my surnames was the rarest after reading a post on the Lighter Side.

Well, I'm guessing it must be Pratlett, but I didn't realise quite how rare it is.  I entered the name on Ancestry.com to see how many census entries there were for all years and all of the UK.  This was the result:

1861.....7
1871.....7
1881...13
1901...10   

First question: I wonder how the 1891 Pratletts have been indexed  ???

I entered the surname in FamilySearch.org and got the 13 1881 entries and two marriages.  One of these in London and one in Weston-super-Mare - my home town so probably a relation. 

I've googled the name and the first two were my own RootsChat signature  ;D while another was a regular letter writer to W-s-M local paper.

How can I discover the origins of the name when it seems so localised?  All the 1881 census entries were in Weston apart from one who was also in Somerset.  Somerset County Archives have an online surname index with all spelling variants but it doesn't show up there either. 

A very perplexed Debbie   :-\

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Offline DebbieDee

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Re: Surname Pratlett
« Reply #1 on: Thursday 19 May 05 14:54 BST (UK) »
Well I've found the Pratletts hiding in 1891 under the name of Prattetts.  Oops I suppose that was a fairly obvious mistranscription  :-[.  So I can now look for the same in the other years.  Part of the problem is they are from such a tiny area of Somerset that it must be the same enumerator every time. 

Debbie

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Offline Andy_T

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Re: Surname Pratlett
« Reply #2 on: Monday 11 February 19 10:36 GMT (UK) »
My first thought was that a Pratlett could be the younger offspring of Pratt's but after checking this further the following explanation is more plausable:

According to the Heraldry Institute:
" The surname Pratlett of English origin. It was a nickname for a clever trickster, from Old English 'proett', trick, craft, cunning, astute, which is found in use as a byname in the eleventh century. Middle English 'pratt(e)' is not recorded as a vocabulary word until the fifteenth century. The word nickname is derived from "an eke-name" or added name, and since surnames originated as added names for help in identification, all surnames are, in a sense, nicknames. The name may also be derived from the French-Latin ( Old French 'prat'; French 'pre'; Latin 'prat-um' - a meadow ), 'dweller at a meadow'. The earliest example is Lefwinus Prat c1080 an Old English byname which the document explians '(id est) Astutus, quod ab inimicis saepe captus caute evaserit'. Pratt is the family name of the Marquesses and Earls Camden. They are descended from John Pratt ( d. 1573 ) of Devonshire. The first Earl, Sir Charles Pratts' ( 1714-94 ) son was created Marquess in 1786. The name was brought to America by English immigrants. One of the first fore fathers to bring this name to America is that of a Phineas Pratt who left Great Britain for America in 1622 and settled in Plymouth Colony. A Rear-Admiral of the American armada bore this name, William Veazie Pratt. This name is the four-hundredth and thirty-seventh most common surname in America. ... "

Andy_T
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