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Re: TREAT and TROTT what is the connection? (long post)
Posted by: Stephanie Lang Date: January 26, 1999 at 15:05:24
In Reply to: TREAT and TROTT what is the connection? by Bonnie of 592

OK, here goes. I am a descendent of the Trott/Treat Family of the Richard Treat and Alice Gaylord fame. Richard's father was Robert Trott, but Richard is a Treat.

An interesting note about Richard Treat and the Trott surname:

From "Hale, House and Related Families", by D.L. Jacobus and E.G. Waterman: Richard Treat was baptized under the name of Trott, married under the name of Trett; his children were baptized by the names of Trott and Tratt, and he was called Treat when he died. He signed documents with the spellings Treat and Treate. Winthrop referred to him in 1669 as Mr. Richard Treat, senior, above 80 years. But in 1657 he noted Elizabeth Treat, 1 1/2 years, a daughter of "Mathias Treat alias Trott--a Kinsman of Mr. Trott." These entries show Winthrop's knowledge of the shift in spelling the name, and confirm the opinion of the compiler of The Treat Family that Mathias Treat of Wethersfield was a relative of Mr. Richard Treat.

For more information you can view my Trott/Treat site at:

In the interim, here are some notes that may help you:

Origins of the Trott Family surname:

The English surname Trott is patronymic in origin, being one of those surnames derived from the first name of the father.  Thus the name means "son of Troit" or Trote or Troyt.  These personal names are one of the forms of Trude, found in such compounds as Ger-trude or Hil-trude and were formerly names in themselves.  The surname finds its source in the Old French to "trot", or in the sense of "trotter, messenger" or "runner".  Thus the name may originally have been of occupational origin, being applied to one who was a messenger.  The final source is in the Old French "trote" meaning a "hag" or "crone" and may have been used as a nickname, which then developed into the surname Trott.  The name takes also the forms Troate, Trood, Trout and Trodd.  It is found frequently in the Exchequer Lay Subsidies, county Somerset, around the time of Edward the third, and is still common there in various forms.

Thus the family name of Trott has no less than three possible origins: 1. baptismal, "son of Trott" - an ancient personal name; or 2. occupational, "a messenger", as in Trotman; or 3. a nickname, "the true and faithful man" - from Middle English 'Troth".

Early instances of this name include Robert fil Trote in 1165 (Pipe Rolls), Simon Trot in 1273 (Hundred Rolls), John Trout of county Somerset, around 1327 (Kirby's Quest) and William le Trot in 1327 (Subsidy Rolls).  There is also record of Jeffry Trote as "bailiff of Yarmouth" in 1340 (History of Norfolk).  In 1661, William Fitter married Jane Trote, at Saint Michaels in Cornhill, and John Trott was a martyr of the Monmouth rebellion in 1865.

Ancient History of the Distinguished Surname Trott:

The distinguished surname Trott can be traced back to Brandenburg, the birthplace of modern Germany.  Historically known as Brandenburg-Prussia, this region was first named Brandenburg, after the Slavic chieftain seat of Brendaburg.  Brandenburg eventually expanded to incorporate the Rhineland, Westphalia, Hanover, parts of Saxony, Pomerania, Silesia, and Hessen.  The Germanic Semnonen tribe lived here, then the Slavic tribe of the Heveler, who held this territory until the arrival of the Christian Saxons.

Bearers of the family name Trott were found in the Prussian province of Magdeburg, where the name, derived from this family's seat Trothe near the city of Halle, later emerged in the middle ages as one of the most powerful and famous families of the region.  There is much speculation on which period the family first arouse, but nothing is certain.  What can be said is that the Trothe family was one of the oldest families of this entire region and belonged to the nobility long before the first chronicles mention them.  From the 13th century the surname was identified with the great social and economic evolution which made this territory a landmark contribution to the development of the nation.  By the 14th century the family had established their fame and were the largest landowners of Magdeburg-Saxony.

A major aspect of research into family names is the changing spelling or pronunciations of a name throughout its history.  The addition of a phrase at the beginning or end of the root name became a quite common indicator of a person's character, place of origin, or religious beliefs.  In the middle ages, scribes would often record a name simply by its sound.  Therefore the numerous variations of the name Trott include Trotha, Trothe (oldest form), Tretsch, Trotte, Trotta, Drothe, Trote, Trota, Drod, Drad, Trade, to name a few examples.

Albrecht the Bear, margrave in 1184, battled the Slavic tribe of the Wenden as he drove eastwards, naming the conquered territories, Brandenburg.  In 1323, members of the Bavarian ducal house became rulers of this area until they were replaced by the Emperor with the Hohenzollerns, a great ruling dynasty, who made Berlin their capital in 1486 and introduced the Reformation in 1539.  The Hohenzollerns continued their extensive programs of expansion by gaining possession of East Prussia and West Prussia, as well as the duchy of Cleve on the Rhine.  In 1701, Frederick I crowned himself King of Prussia in the East Prussian capital of Koenigsberg, naming his entire country Prussia, after the Baltic Prussen, former inhabitants of the land.

During this period of change, the family name of Trott moved to Saxony, Anhalt and Hessen, holding many interests as the population of the family name grew in the same dimensions as the general population explosion in the 16th century.  As the size of the family broadened they established many branches in the regions of Brandenburg, and Latvia.  They moved following their special interests in religious, military or political occupations.  They were later raised to the ranks of the nobility when the von Teyden branch became Austrian barons in 1778.  Notable figures with the name Trott at this time were Thilo von Trotha, who was unquestionably the most famous and important member of the family.  He first served as canon of the Magdeburg church and then became Bishop of Merseburg, a position he held for forty six years.  His story is told in the well known but not historically accurate saga of "The Raven with the Ring".

Throughout the centuries, many people migrated to other parts of Germany, as well as to North America.  This flow of migration to the New World began around 1650, and continued well into the 20th century.  Pockets of German settlements include Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinios, California, and Ohio.  In Canada, German settlements centred around Ontario and the Prairies.  Settlers bearing the family name Trott include Johann Conrad Trott, who came to Philadelphia in 1785.

Treat : The surname Treat is an English descriptive name that originated with a 'friendly, beloved person' whose company was well-enjoyed, as any treat today would be!

Trotter is an English and Scottish occupational name for a messenger, from Middle English troten = to walk fast. When of German heritage, Trotter is the occupational name for the grape-treader, from Middle High German trotte = winepress. Trott and Trotman are variants of the messenger, while Trott, Trottmann and Trotmann are versions of the German name.

Read more about the Trott/Treat's from the online version of "Treat Genealogy" by John Harvey Treat.


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