Origins of Peat:
This name has three possible sources. The first being an English diminutive form of the particular name Peter, from the Greek "petros" which means a "rock." The name may also have started as a nickname for a gentle person. "Peat" being an older form of "Pet" as the following quotes shows as "A pretty peat" - The Taming of the Shrew, and, "As sick as a peate" - Notes and Queries (1857). Finally, it may be of geographical origin i.e. "at the peat." One Richard de Peyt listed in Somerset in 1327. However, we think this to be the most reliable source. In the new era, the name spelled like Peat, Peatt, and Peet(t). One Thomas Peat (1708-1780), was an almanac-maker and wrote the "Gentleman's Diary."
More common variations are: Peate, Peaty, Peatt, Peato, Pyeat, Peata, Peati, Peuat, Peait, Peatu
The surname Peat first appeared in Kent where they held a family seat from old times, and their first recordings showed on the early poll rolls derived by the early Kings of Britain to decide the rate of taxation of their activities.
The very first recorded spelling of the family was shown to be that of John Peat, dated about 1635, in the "A Husbandman of Derbieshier." It was during the time of King Charles I who was known to be the “The Martyr," dated 1625 - 1649. The origin of surnames during this period became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation. It came to be known as Poll Tax in England.
Many of the people with name Pete had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.
United States of America:
Individuals with the surname Peat landed in the United States in three different centuries respectively in the 17th, 18th, and 19th. Some of the people with the name Peat who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included Jo Peat arrived in New England in 1635. Joe and John Peat, both settled in Boston in 1635. John Peat, who landed in Virginia in 1649.
People with the surname Peat who landed in the United States in the 18th century included Joshua Peat, who arrived in Jamaica in 1746. Richard Peat settled in Virginia in 1754.
The following century saw more Peat surnames arrive. Some of the people with the name Peat who arrived in the United States in the 19th century included Robert Peat, who landed in New York in 1824. George Peat came to Philadelphia in 1878.
People with the surname Peat settled in Canada in the 18th century. Some of the people with the surname Peat who came to Canada in the 18th century included Mr. Epenetus Peat U.E. who settled in New Brunswick near the year 1784.
Some of the individuals with the surname Peat who landed in Australia in the 19th century included Emily Peat and Louisa Peat, both arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Harpley" in the same year 1848. Ann Peat arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lady Flora" in 1851.
Some of the population with the surname Peat who arrived in New Zealand in the 19th century included George Peat, Elizabeth Peat, Elizabeth Peat, Mary Peat and John Peat, all arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Helenslee" in the same year 1864.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Peat: England 2,705; United States 1,205; Australia 563; Canada 526; Scotland 446; New Zealand 386; Taiwan 232; Jamaica 178; Germany 168; France 135
Andrus Peat (born 1993), is an American football player.
Charles Urie Peat (February 1892–October 1979), was a British leader and cricket player.
F. David Peat (born April 1938), is a British scientist and writer.
Harold R. Peat (July 1893–1960), was a Canadian officer and writer.
Jeremy Peat (born March 1945), is a British professor.
Louisa Watson Small Peat (1883–1952), was an Irish speaker and writer.