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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016


The ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of England produced the name of Pratten. It was given to a trickster; for a practical joker. Further research revealed that the name is derived from the Old English word prętt, which meant "a trick" or alternatively "cunning and astute." A broad and miscellaneous class of surnames, nickname surnames referred to a characteristic of the first person who used the name. They can describe the bearer's favored style of clothing, appearance, habits, or character. Nickname surnames were frequently the result of a spontaneous reaction to a particular occasion or event. It is possible that the name was given to the original bearer as the result of a particularly brilliant and wildly successful practical joke.

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The surname Pratten was first found in Essex but the name originally comes from Normandy where it is derived from the place name Pratum, or Pré, near Lisieux where Duke Richard gave lands to Fontanelles Abbey in 1024. Again in Normandy, Richard and Robert de Prato were listed in 1198 but another branch of the family were found in Essex in 1199 where Roger de Prato was listed at that time. Hervery de Prato was King John's "faithful knight" in 1200 and Rouen Castle was given to his brother for his services. [1] We draw the reader's attention to the church in the parish of Ryston in Norfolk. "The church is chiefly in the decorated English style, and contains numerous monuments to the Pratt family, including one to Lady Pratt, whose figure, in a reclining posture, is beautifully sculptured in white marble." [2]

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Pratten has appeared include Pratt, Pratte, Prat and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pratten research. Another 359 words (26 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1497, 1573, 1615, 1620, 1684, 1664, 1667, 1714, 1766, 1786, 1759, 1840, 1795, 1798, 1812 and are included under the topic Early Pratten History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 127 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pratten Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Pratten family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 153 words (11 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Pratten Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Mary Ann Pratten, English convict from Bristol, who was transported aboard the "Angelina" on April 25, 1844, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia

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  • Frederick Lewis Pratten (1904-1967), English cricketer who played 12 first-class matches for Somerset in 1930 and 1931
  • Herbert Graham "Bert" Pratten (1892-1979), Australian cricketer
  • Frederick Graham Pratten (1899-1977), Australian politician, Member of the Australian Parliament for Martin (1928-1929), nephew of Herbert Pratten
  • Herbert Edward Pratten (1865-1928), Australian politician, Minister for Trade and Customs (1924-1928), Minister for Health (1924-1925) and Senator for New South Wales (1917-1921), eponym of Pratten Park, Sydney


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  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  2. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  3. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  5. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  6. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  7. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  8. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  9. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  10. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  11. ...

The Pratten Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Pratten Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 3 March 2016 at 11:31.

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