Pithan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The distinguished surname Pithan 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 Pithan family originally lived in any low-lying area resembling a pit or hollows. The surname Pithan is derived from the Old English words pytt, which means pit, and mann, which means man. The surname Pithan 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 Pithan family
The surname Pithan was first found in Devon, but we must look to Normandy, France to find the earliest record of the name. There we found Maingot Piteman who was listed in 1198 in the Magnum Rotulum Scaccarii Normanniae...  Uban Piteman was listed in the Assize Rolls of Norfolk in 1203  and John Piteman was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 in Buckinghamshire. 
Early History of the Pithan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pithan research. Another 77 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pithan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Pithan Spelling Variations
Flemish 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 Pitman, Pittman and others.
Early Notables of the Pithan family (pre 1700)
Another 31 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pithan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Pithan family
Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Pithan or a variant listed above: Christopher Pittman, who came to Virginia in 1623; Sarah Pittman, who settled in New England in 1635; John Pitman, who settled in New England in 1663.
Related Stories +
- ^ 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)
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)