Show ContentsFlatt History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The noble Viking settlers who came to the rocky shores of Scotland in the Middle Ages brought with them the ancestors of the Flatt family. They lived in Flet, a place-name found in the Orkney Islands. This was probably derived from the Old Norse word flötr, which meant "stretch of arable land."

Early Origins of the Flatt family

The surname Flatt was first found in the Orkneys, where they held a family seat from very ancient times. They derived their name from the village of Flett in the parish of Delting in the Shetland Islands. The name is mentioned in the early Viking sagas, and was one of the most prominent names mentioned in those sagas.

"The family was at one time of such importance that, if they had ever been 'of Flett' we should have evidence of it" [1]

Early History of the Flatt family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Flatt research. Another 103 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1427, 1480, 1509, 1516, 1665 and 1767 are included under the topic Early Flatt History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Flatt Spelling Variations

Scottish names from the Middle Ages vary enormously in their spellings. This is a result of the fact that there were no universal standards like dictionaries for scribes to judge by. The recorded spelling variations of the name Flatt include Flet, Flett, Fletts, Flait and others.

Early Notables of the Flatt family (pre 1700)

Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Flatt Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Flatt Ranking

In the United States, the name Flatt is the 6,652nd most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [2]

United States Flatt migration to the United States +

Settlers found farms all along the eastern part of what would become the United States and Canada. They provided a base and a backbone that would strengthen two great nations in the making. In the 20th century, the ancestors of those brave Scots have rediscovered their heritage through highland games and Scottish historical societies. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the Scottish name Flatt or a variant listed above, including:

Flatt Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • James Flatt, aged 25, who landed in Carolina in 1774 [3]

New Zealand Flatt migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Flatt Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John Flatt, who landed in Bay of Islands, New Zealand in 1836

Contemporary Notables of the name Flatt (post 1700) +

  • Lester Raymond Flatt (1914-1979), American bluegrass musician and guitarist and mandolinist, best known for his work with banjo picker Earl Scruggs in The Foggy Mountain Boys ("Flatt and Scruggs") and for their "The Ballad of Jed Clampett", theme music for The Beverly Hillbillies
  • Rachael Elizabeth Flatt (b. 1992), American figure skater
  • Matthew Flatt, American computer scientist
  • Mike Flatt, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from North Dakota, 1960 [4]
  • Anna Flatt, American Republican politician, Chair of Carter County Republican Party, 2014 [4]
  • Johann Friedrich Flatt (1759-1821), German theologian and philosopher
  • John Ira Flatt (b. 1834), Canadian Ontario farmer, merchant and political figure
  • The Very Rev Roy Francis Ferguson Flatt (1947-2011), English clergyman, Dean of Argyll and The Isles (1999-2005)

  1. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  2. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  3. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  4. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 13) . Retrieved from on Facebook