But before I waffle about the Litten Family Crest, let’s talk about this blog entry — a few years ago, I decided to start researching my family name “Litten”. I dug around on the interwebs, found lots of interesting stuff and lots of random guff, wrote most of this blog, then clicked SAVE AS DRAFT, wombled off and made a cup of tea and then *cough* completely forgot about it. It was relegated to the dim dark corners of my huge list of abandoned blogs and half finished brain farts and there it sat… for nearly 5 years… LOL. Just found it and clicked publish. #PrevaricationMaster
Litten Family Crest – *SPOILER*
It’s basically a Fleur-de-lis:
Here I am over the crest of middle-aged, the male senior in my branch of Litten’s over here Stateside and my only surviving senior ‘Litten’ family member is Old Uncle Buck who lives in Spain.
I spoke with Dave on Saturday… well… kind of mumbled and dribbled a hot cup of tea and spat some toast crumbs on the keyboard while Dave and I mumbled incoherent rants about “the youth of today”… We spoke about the family name and decided to do a little research into the genealogy of the LITTEN name and so far I’ve come up with three definitions:
Littens – British by Birth and English by the Grace of God
This ENGLISH surname of LITTEN was a location name meaning ‘one who came from LITTON’ parishes in counties Somerset and Dorset; also townships in counties Hereford and in the West Riding of Yorkshire, and there is a hamlet of the name in the parish of Tideswell, County Derbyshire.
Now the parishes might have originated from settlers, or immigrants from Europe in earlier centuries because…
Littens – Ze Germans are coming!
There is also reference to a GERMAN surname of LITTEN. Which rather confusingly may have originated from Silesia, a historical region of Central Europe located mostly in present-day Poland, with parts in the Czech Republic and Germany. Silesian Littens contributed greatly to the development of an emerging nation and would later play a large role in the tribal and national conflicts of the area.
Litten – Wild and Grim
The surname Litten may also be derived from a Slavic personal name such as “Litomir,” “Litoslav,” or “Litobor.” These names are all from Old Slavic “ljutu,” meaning “wild” or “grim.”
The Town of Litten
Alternatively, the name may be derived from “Littau,” the name of a town in Moravia. In this case, it is likely that the progenitor of the name was a native of Littau who had settled in another region.
Illiteracy was rife in centuries past
so Litten may also have been spelt LITTON and/or LYTTON. The earliest of the name on record appears to be Hugh de LITTON, who was documented in Northampton in the year 1273, and Alicia de LITTON of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379.
Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error.
Later instances include William LITTON and Elizabeth Myles, who were married in London in the year 1583, and Edward LITTON and Elizabeth Frierson were wed at St. Michael, Cornhill, London in 1606.
A notable member of the name was Edward George LYTTON Bulwer, 1st Baron LYTTON (1803-73) the English novelist, playwright, essayist, poet and politician, born in London. He was the youngest son of General Earle Bulwer (1776-1807) by Elizabeth Barbara LYTTON (1773-1843) the heiress of Knebworth in Hertfordshire. He took early to poetry and in 1820 published ‘Ismael and other Poems’. At Trinity Hall, Cambridge, he won the chancellor’s gold medal for a poem ‘Sculpture’ but left with only a pass degree. He was created a baronet in 1838, and in 1843 he succeeded to the Knebworth estate and assumed the surname of LYTTON.
In 1866 he was raised to the peerage.
Of course, the most important historical Litten… is… erm *ME* 😉
Hello my name is Nick Litten
I’m from England… but my family may also originate in erm Germany with a splash of Poland thrown in the mix.
My surname, Litten, means my ancestors may well have started their journeys in Moravia (which sounds a bit like a sinister Vampire Country from an old 50’s black and white movie) and after migrating to this dark and mysterious country they found their way to a small Parrish in central England (obviously after stopping in Germany for a beer and then stopping again in Poland for some nice sausages)