Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Petty Name
Origins of Petty:
The surname of Petty can be traced to the medieval period, in both England and Scotland. The original derivation of the surname of Petty can be found within the Anglo-Norman society. The Anglo-Norman word of “petit” which can be translated to mean “small,” was given as a nickname for someone who was small in stature, and it was considered to be a “nursery word.” It is a common element of surnames throughout Europe that many of them originally derived from nicknames, as it was a very common practice in medieval times. In the beginning, nicknames were applied to people who had distinguishing characteristics, such as moral or mental peculiarities, a similar appearance to a bird or animal, a similar disposition to a bird or animal, occupation of an individual, their habits, or their manner of dress. This surname of Petty was also used to distinguish the younger of two people who were given the same name, often a father and a son, or an elder brother and a younger brother.
More common variations are: Pettey, Pettie, Pettey, Pettay, Pettye, Pettya, Peatty, Peetty, Puetty
The first recorded spelling of the surname of Petty can be found within the country of England. One person, who was recorded to bear the surname of Petty, was named as one William Petie, who was mentioned in the document known as the Feet Fines of Nottinghamshire, in the year of 1198. This document was ordered, decreed, and written under the reign of one King Richard I, who was known throughout the ages and commonly referred to throughout history as one “Richard the Lionheart.” King Richard I of England ruled from the year 1189 to the year 1199. Other mentions of the surname of Petty can be found within the country of England. One Walter Peiticlark was mentioned as residing in the area of Gloucestershire in the year of 1304, one John Petijohan was named as dwelling within the areas of Sussex in the year of 1327, and one John le Petit Smyth was recorded as living in the year of Essex in the year of 1351. Those who carry the surname of Petty within the country of England can be found in large concentrations in the areas of Warwickshire, Lancashire, Hampshire, and Yorkshire. The areas in and around the city of London also boast a large population of those who are known by the surname of Petty.
In the country of Scotland, there is a sizeable population of people who carry the surname of Petty. These people who are known by the surname of Petty can be found in high concentrations in the areas of Angus, Stirlingshire, Dumfries-shire, and within the county of Midlothian.
United States of America:
Throughout the 17th Century, European settlers began to migrate to the United States of America in search of a better life for them and their families. Among these people were William Petty, who settled in New Jersey in the year of 1664, bringing the surname of Petty to the New World. Those who are known by the surname of Petty can be found in New Jersey, New York, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and Massachusetts.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Petty: United States 39,662; England 3,178; Australia 1,305; Kenya 785; Canada 725; Brazil 588; South Africa 530; Germany 504; Taiwan 406; Philippines 258
Kyle Eugene Petty who was born in the year 1960 and who is now a retired NASCAR driver from America
Lieutenant Orlando Henderson Petty (1874-1932) who was a naval officer and physician from America who was granted the Congressional Medal of Honor for his brave actions during World War 1
Norman Petty (1927-1984) who was a musician as well as a songwriter and producer from America
Thomas “Tom” Earl Petty who was born in the year 1950 in America and who is a songwriter and rock musician who is most well-known as the founder and lead singer of Tom Petty and the Heartbreaks as well as the band the Traveling Wilburys
Richard Petty who was born in the year 1937 and who is a former NASCAR driver from America who was once awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom
Lori Petty who was born in the year 1937 and who is a film and television actress from America
Dini Petty who was born in the year 1945 and who is a radio and television host from Canada
Petty Coat of Arms Meaning
The four main devices (symbols) in the Petty blazon are the bend, martlet, beehive and magnetic needle. The three main tinctures (colors) are ermine, azure and vert .
Ermine is a very ancient pattern, and distinctive to observe. It was borne alone by John de Monfort, the Earl of Richmond and Duke of Brittany in the late 14th century It has a long association with royalty and the nobility in general and hence represents “Dignity” wherever it is found . The ermine pattern is white with, typically, a three dots and a dart grouping representing the tail of the furred creature.. The ermine spot is sometimes found alone as a special charge on the shield.
Azure is the heraldic colour blue, usually quite a deep, dark shade of the colour (there is a lighter blue that sometimes occurs, known as celestial azure). If colour printing is not available then it can be represented by closely spaced horizontal lines in a scheme known as “hatching” . The word is thought to originate from the Arabic lazura and it represents the colour of the eastern sky. It is also said to be the colour associated by the Catholic Church with the Virgin Mary and hence of particular significance .
The deep green colour that is so often observed in heraldry is more properly known as vert. According to Wade, the use of this colour signifies “Hope and Joy”, but may also represent, rather delightfully, “Loyalty in Love” . It has other names also, the French call it sinople, perhaps after a town in Asia Minor from where the best green die materials could be found . More fanciful heralds liked to associate it with the planet venus and the precious stone emerald . More strangely, there is some evidence that the term prasin was anciently used, being the Greek for the vegetable we call the Leek!
The bend is a distinctive part of the shield, frequently occuring and clearly visible from a distance – it is a broad band running from top left to bottom right . Indeed, so important is the bend that it was the subject of one of the earliest cases before the English Court of Chivalry; the famous case of 1390, Scrope vs Grosvenor had to decide which family were the rightful owners of Azure, a bend or (A blue shield, with yellow bend). . The bend is held in high honour and may signify “defence or protection” and often borne by those of high military rank .
The martlett is by far the most common bird to appear in British Heraldry, perhaps only equalled by the eagle, however it is not a species ever to be found in an ornithologists handbook! The word itself is though to have come from the French word merlette, the female blackbird and itself a similar type of charge used in French Heraldry. . Over time the image has become quite stylised, without visible legs or distinctive feathers. Wade suggests that this representation arises from “the appearance of the bird of paradise to ancient travellers” . Other bird species may be named in coats of arms (cornish chough is a frequent example) but in actual execution their appearance is often indistinguishable from the martlet.
The beehive appears in heraldry in its natural, rounded form, not the wooden box of the honey farm. In meaning it can treated in the same way as the bee symbolising “well governed industry”.