Recorded many spellings including Lawtie, Lawtey, Lattaty Latty, Laity, Laitie, Lattie, Latey, Lattee, Latia, and no doubt others, this is a Northern English and Scottish surname. It is locational either from an estate known as The lands of Laithis in Ayrshire, Scotland, or from Laithes, a hamlet north west of Penrith in Cumberland, England. Both places derive from the Norse word "hlatha", meaning a lathe or barn. It is also possible although not proven, that the surname could be residential and mean "by the barns" as in Gilbert del Lathes recorded in the register of the Freemen of the City of York, dated 1296, and Adam del Laythes, recorded in the Subsidy Rolls of Cumberland in 1332. In Scotland the first recording is believed to be that of Thomas Lathais of the Ilk, a minor nobleman, in the year 1350, whilst James Lawtie was a member of the Scots parliament for Cullen in 1628. Recordings from church registers include the marriage of John Lataye and Jane Gowland on September 27th 1708, at Bishopswearmouth, Durham; and the marriage of Jane Laity or Laitie, at the Fleet Chapel, in the city of London, on October 7th 1728. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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, , (as distinguished from the clergy)

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  • Laity — • The body of the faithful, outside of the ranks of the clergy Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Laity     Laity     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Laity — La i*ty (l[=a] [i^]*t[y^]), n. [See {Lay}, a.] 1. The people, as distinguished from the clergy; the body of the people not in orders. [1913 Webster] A rising up of the laity against the sacerdotal caste. Macaulay. [1913 Webster] 2. The state of a …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • laity — ► NOUN (the laity) ▪ lay people …   English terms dictionary

  • Laity — (spr. Läty), Armand François, geb. 1812 in Lorient, Pontonnierlieutenant in Strasburg, betheiligte sich an dem Attentate Ludwig Napoleons am 30. Oct. 1836 in Strasburg; von den Assisen des Niederrheins deshalb freigesprochen, wurde er 1838 vom… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • laity — body of people not in religious orders, early 15c., from Anglo Fr. laite, from LAY (Cf. lay) (adj.) + ITY (Cf. ity) …   Etymology dictionary

  • laity — [lā′i tē] n. pl. laities [ LAY3 + ITY] 1. all the people not included among the clergy; laymen collectively 2. all the people not belonging to any given profession …   English World dictionary

  • Laity — In religious organizations, the laity comprises all people who are not in the clergy. A person who is a member of a religious order who is not ordained legitimate clergy is considered as a member of the laity, even though they are members of a… …   Wikipedia

  • Laity — (Roget s Thesaurus) < N PARAG:Laity >N GRP: N 1 Sgm: N 1 laity laity flock fold congregation assembly brethren people Sgm: N 1 society society =>(U.S.) GRP: N 2 Sgm: N 2 temporality …   English dictionary for students

  • Laity —    Derived from the Latin Laicus, Greek Laikos, from Laos, meaning people. The word means of, or pertaining to the People as distinguished from the Clergy. The term was first used in the second century. It ought to be noticed that the term Laity …   American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • laity — [[t]le͟ɪɪti[/t]] N SING COLL: also no det The laity are all the people involved in the work of a church who are not clergymen, monks, or nuns. The Church and the laity were increasingly active in charity work... Clergy and laity alike are divided …   English dictionary

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