This most interesting surname is of Old French origin, and was a nickname given to a small person or to the younger of two bearers of the same given name, from the Old French "petit", small. In the modern idiom the name is found as Petit, Petyt, Pettit, Pettet, Petty and Pettie in England, while in France it is cognate with Petit, Lepetit and Petelin. The creation of surnames from nicknames was a common practice in the Middle Ages, and many modern-day surnames, as above, derive from medieval nicknames referring to personal characteristics, as in this instance "the small one". The surname itself is first recorded in Hampshire, in the Domesday Book of 1086 (see below), and was probably introduced into England in the aftermath of the Norman Conquest of 1066...
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