Letts History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The rich and ancient history of the Letts family name dates back to the time of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It comes from the baptismal name Lettice, a popular girls name in medieval times. This personal name was originally derived from the Latin laetitia, which means gladness and joy. Baptismal names began to appear as surnames relatively late in the growth of the naming tradition. This is a little surprising, given the popularity of biblical figures in the Christian countries of Europe. Nevertheless, surnames derived from baptismal names grew in popularity during the Middle Ages, and have become one of the foremost sources for surnames.
Early Origins of the Letts family
The surname Letts was first found in Gloucestershire, where they held a family seat as Lords of the manor of Lett, before the taking of the Domesday Book in 1086.
Early History of the Letts family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Letts research. Another 91 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1086 and 1273 are included under the topic Early Letts History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Letts Spelling Variations
Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Letts have been found, including Lett, Layt, Laite, Layte, Let, Lete, Latt, Leyt, Letts, Lettson and many more.
Early Notables of the Letts family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Letts Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Letts family to Ireland
Some of the Letts family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 97 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Letts migration to the United States +
Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Among the first immigrants of the name Letts, or a variant listed above to cross the Atlantic and come to North America were :
Letts Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Eliza Letts, who arrived in Virginia in 1648 
- John Letts, who arrived in Virginia in 1651 
- Mary Letts, who landed in Virginia in 1651 
- Mary Letts, who arrived in Virginia in 1651
Letts Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Elizabeth Letts, who arrived in America in 1759
Letts Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Sarah Letts, who landed in New York in 1826 
- W Letts, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 
- Benjamin Letts from Ireland arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1862
Letts migration to Canada +
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
Letts Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
- Jeremiah Letts, who landed in Canada in 1832
Letts migration to Australia +
Emigration to Australia
followed the First Fleets
of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:
Letts Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- George Letts, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Asia" in 1839 
- Joseph Letts, aged 33, who arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Stamboul"
Letts 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:
Letts Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- Mrs. Ann Letts, British settler with family travelling from London aboard the ship "Stately" arriving in Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 5th February 1854 
- William Letts, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Hermione" in 1883
- Emily Letts, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Hermione" in 1883
- Minnie Letts, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Hermione" in 1883
- Raymond Letts, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Hermione" in 1883
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Contemporary Notables of the name Letts (post 1700) +
- Arthur Letts Sr. (1862-1923), English-born, American millionaire developer of Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, California
- Tracy Letts (b. 1965), American playwright and actor who received the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama
- Winifred Mary Letts (1882-1972), English writer
- John Campbell Bonner Letts (1929-2006), English publisher, who founded the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum
- Thomas Letts (1803-1873), English bookbinder and printer who popularised the diary
- Quentin Richard Stephen Letts (b. 1963), British journalist and theatre critic
- Dr Godfrey Alan "Goff" Letts CBE (1928-1974), Australian Majority Leader of the Northern Territory of Australia from 1974 to 1977
- Don Letts (b. 1956), British film director and musician
- Barry Leopold Letts (1925-2009), British actor, television director, writer and producer best known for his work on the BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who
- Charles Trevor Letts, British Deputy Chairman, Lloyds of London
Historic Events for the Letts family +
- Mr. Gerald Arthur Letts, English 1st Class Passenger from London, England, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking 
Related Stories +
- ^ 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)
- ^ State Library of South Australia. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) ASIA 1839 from London with Captain Benjamin Freeman and 245 passengers, arrived Port Adelaide on 16-07-1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Asia-list.htm
- ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
- ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/