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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: Belgium, English, Irish

Where did the English Pratt family come from? What is the English Pratt family crest and coat of arms? When did the Pratt family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Pratt family history?

The earliest origins of the Pratt surname date from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name reveals that an early member was a trickster; for a practical joker. Further research revealed that the name is derived from the Old English word prętt, which meant "a trick" or alternatively "cunning and astute." A broad and miscellaneous class of surnames, nickname surnames referred to a characteristic of the first person who used the name. They can describe the bearer's favored style of clothing, appearance, habits, or character. Nickname surnames were frequently the result of a spontaneous reaction to a particular occasion or event. It is possible that the name was given to the original bearer as the result of a particularly brilliant and wildly successful practical joke.

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It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Pratt are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Pratt include: Pratt, Pratte, Prat and others.

First found in Essex but the name originally comes from Normandy where it is derived from the place name Pratum, or Pré, near Lisieux where Duke Richard gave lands to Fontanelles Abbey in 1024. Again in Normandy, Richard and Robert de Prato were listed in 1198 but another branch of the family were found in Essex in 1199 where Roger de Prato was listed at that time. Hervery de Prato was King John's "faithful knight" in 1200 and Rouen Castle was given to his brother for his services. [1]


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pratt research. Another 277 words(20 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1497, 1573, 1620, 1684, 1664, 1667, 1714, 1766, 1786, 1759, 1840, 1795, 1798, 1812 and are included under the topic Early Pratt History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 127 words(9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pratt Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Pratt family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 153 words(11 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Pratt or a variant listed above:

Pratt Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Phineas Pratt, who settled in Maine in 1622
  • Phineas Pratt, who arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1622
  • Isabell Pratt, who landed in Virginia in 1623
  • Joshua Pratt, who landed in Massachusetts in 1623
  • Isbell Pratt, who landed in Virginia in 1624-1625


Pratt Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Peter Pratt, who landed in Virginia in 1714
  • Thomas Pratt, who landed in Georgia in 1735
  • Cornelius Pratt, aged 25, arrived in New Jersey in 1776
  • Patty Pratt, aged 17, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1777

Pratt Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Francis Pratt, aged 57, arrived in Connecticut in 1812
  • Edward Pratt, aged 32, landed in Connecticut in 1812
  • Henry Pratt, aged 15, arrived in Norfolk, Va in 1821
  • Alexander I Pratt, who arrived in Savanna(h), Georgia in 1821
  • Robert Pratt, aged 17, landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1826


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  • Thomas George Pratt (1804-1869), American lawyer and politician, who was Governor of Maryland (1845-1848) and a U.S. Senator (1850-1857)
  • Orson Pratt (1811-1881), Mormon apostle
  • Richard Henry Pratt (1840-1924), American soldier and educator
  • Todd Alan Pratt (b. 1967), American Major League Baseball player
  • Henry Cheever Pratt (1803-1880), American artist and explorer from Boston
  • Theodore Pratt (1901-1969), American writer
  • Bela Lyon Pratt (1867-1917), American sculptor
  • Daniel Pratt (1799-1873), American industrialist, eponym of Prattville, Autauga County and Birmingham's Pratt City, Jefferson County
  • Murray Fletcher Pratt (1897-1956), American writer of science fiction, fantasy and history
  • Kyla Alissa Pratt (b. 1986), American actress and singer, best known for her work on Barney & Friends, Let's Stay Together, The Proud Family and many more

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  • Ancestors and Descendants of Paul Pratt of New Vineyard, Maine by Joan Pratt.
  • Descendants of Thomas Horton of Springfield: and Including Some Descendants of Phineas Pratt by Carl W. Fischer.
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  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)

Other References

  1. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  3. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  4. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  5. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  6. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  7. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  8. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  9. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  10. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The Pratt Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Pratt Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 5 October 2014 at 22:38.

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