The distinguished surname Pit emerged among the industrious people of Flanders
, which was an important trading partner and political ally of Britain during the Middle Ages. As a result of the frequent commercial intercourse between the Flemish
and English nations, many Flemish
migrants settled in Britain. In early times, people were known by only a single name. However, as the population grew and people traveled further afield, it became increasingly necessary to assume an additional name to differentiate between bearers of the same personal name
. The manner in which hereditary surnames
arose is interesting. Local
surnames are derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. Flemish
surnames of this type frequently are prefixed by de la
or de le,
which mean of the
or from the.
The Pit family originally lived in the settlement of Pett in Kent
, in the place named Pitt in Hampshire
, or in any low-lying area resembling a pit or hollows. The surname Pit is derived from the Old English words pytt,
which means pit.
Pit belongs to both the category of habitation
names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads, or other places, and 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 Pit family
The surname Pit was first found in Dorset
at Blandford (Blandford Forum), a parish, in the union of Blandford, hundred
of Coombs-Ditch. "The church [of Blandford], with the exception of the tower, was rebuilt in 1711, by Governor Pitt, ancestor of the Earl of Chatham and of Lord Camelford; it is in the Grecian style, and contains the remains of many of the Pitt family." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
Thomas Pitt (1653-1726), the famed English merchant and progenitor of the family of note was born here.
Early History of the Pit family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pit research.Another 117 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1804, 1560, 1616, 1557, 1634, 1560, 1616, 1559, 1636, 1614, 1625, 1606, 1672, 1654, 1660, 1643, 1624, 1625, 1694, 1660, 1679, 1627, 1686, 1660, 1679, 1680, 1639, 1697, 1653, 1713, 1653 and 1726 are included under the topic Early Pit History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Pit Spelling Variations
surnames are characterized by a large number of spelling variations
. One reason for this is that medieval English lacked definite spelling rules. The spellings of surnames were also influenced by the official court languages, which were French and Latin. Names were rarely spelled consistently in medieval times. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to specific spelling rules, and people often had their names registered in several different forms throughout their lives. One of the greatest reasons for change is the linguistic uniqueness of the Flemish
settlers in England
, who spoke a language closely related to Dutch. The pronunciation and spelling of Flemish
names were often altered to suit the tastes of English-speaking people. In many cases, the first, final, or middle syllables of surnames were eliminated. The name has been spelled Pitt, Pit and others.
Early Notables of the Pit family (pre 1700)
Prominent in the family at this time was John Pitts (1560-1616), an English Roman Catholic scholar and writer; Arthur Pits (1557-1634), and English Catholic priest from Iffley; John Pits or Pitseus (1560-1616), English Catholic divine and biographer from Alton, Hampshire; Sir William Pitt (1559-1636), an English courtier and politician, Member of... Another 139 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pit Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Pit family to Ireland
Some of the Pit family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 193 words (14 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Pit family to the New World and Oceana
Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Pit or a variant listed above:
Pit Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Roland Pit, who arrived in Virginia in 1717 CITATION[CLOSE]
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)
Contemporary Notables of the name Pit (post 1700)
- Meine Pit (1931-2014), Dutch politician, served several times at a member of the Senate of the Netherlands, and States-Provincial of Gelderland between 1976 and 1999
The Pit Motto
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Per ardua liberi
Motto Translation: Free thro' difficulties.