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Petty Family History

This interesting name is of early medieval English and Scottish origin, and derives from the medieval Anglo-Norman French term "petit", small, a word of obscure and isolated origin, thought to be a "nursery word". It was used as a nickname for a small person, as in the recording of Walter le Petiit, in the Wiltshire Assize Rolls of 1249, and also to distinguish the younger of two bearers of the same given name. The term was also used as an element in medieval surnames developed from personal and occupational - or nick - names, as in Walter Petitclark (1304, Gloucestershire); John Petijohan (1327, Sussex); and John le Petit Smyth (1351, Essex)...

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