Lyte History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Lyte is part of the ancient legacy of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is a product of when the family lived in a clearing or glade. The surname Lyte is derived from the Old English word leoht, which means light and is theorized to specifically mean light place in this case. The surname Lyte belongs to the class of topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees.

Early Origins of the Lyte family

The surname Lyte was first found in Somerset where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Early History of the Lyte family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Lyte research. Another 70 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1546, 1529, 1607, 1578, 1564 and 1588 are included under the topic Early Lyte History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Lyte Spelling Variations

The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Lyte has been spelled many different ways, including Light, Lyte, Lite and others.

Early Notables of the Lyte family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Lyte family

Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Lytes to arrive in North America: Elias Light settled in Virginia in 1637 along with Richard; George Light settled in Virginia in 1652 with Mary; William and John Light settled in Virginia in 1653..

Contemporary Notables of the name Lyte (post 1700) +

  • Eliphalet Oram Lyte (1842-1913), American educator and author of grammar and composition textbooks, credited as the composer of the tune "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" published in 1881
  • Farnham Maxwell- Lyte FRSC (1828-1906), English chemist and the pioneer of a number of techniques in photographic processing, fifth and last child of Henry Francis Lyte
  • Christian Lyte (b. 1989), English-born, Barbadon competitive cyclist
  • Sir Henry Churchill Maxwell Lyte (1848-1940), English historian and archivist, Deputy Keeper of the Public Records from 1886 to 1926, grandson of Henry Francis Lyte
  • Henry Francis Lyte (1793-1847), Scottish Anglican divine, hymn-writer and poet, perhaps best known for his hymn "Abide with Me"; he married Anne Maxwell, father of Farnham Maxwell-Lyte on Facebook
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