Levett (de Livet)
Levett (de Livet)
Rick Smith
This web page is about the de LIVET families in Normandy, France. LEVETT families of England 1066+. South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania, Australia.

These records would not have been possible for the help by Mrs Shirley Payne now Buckland, Mrs Gill Couper, Ron Levett, Joanna Bruce, Karen Tylers, Hilary Ferguson and many other contributors. Many thanks to all.

There is some evidence to link the East Sussex Levetts to Norman French LEVETTs coming during or shortly after the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Levett is an Anglo-Norman territorial surname deriving from the village of Livet-en-Ouche, now Jonquerets-de-Livet, in Eure, Normandy. Ancestors of the earliest Levett family in England, the de Livets were lords of the village of Livet, and undertenants (with the CURZONS and BASKERVILLES) of the de Ferrers, among the most powerful of William the Conqueror's Norman lords.

One branch of the de Livet family came to England during the Norman Conquest, nearly a thousand years ago, and were prominent in Derbyshire, Cheshire, Ireland and Sussex, where they held many manors, including the lordship of Firle. The name Livet (first recorded as Lived in the 11th century), of Gaulish etymology, may mean a "place where yew-trees grow": *l-iv-et, if "yew" > ivaie "yew wood" in modern French. Like many Normans, the family's origins are probably mostly Anglo-Scandinavian.

Although the date of the family's arrival in England is uncertain, the family name appears in the records of William the Conqueror. Ancient English deeds subsequently refer to many lands across Sussex as 'Levetts,' indicating family possession of broad swaths of Sussex countryside. Among the family's holdings was the manor of Catsfield Levett, today known simply as Catsfield, located a scant three miles (5 km) from the battlefield where Duke William of Normandy thrashed the English forces to become King.

The Levetts and their descendants eventually held land in Gloucestershire, Yorkshire, Worcestershire, Suffolk, Warwickshire, Wiltshire, Kent, Bedfordshire and later in Staffordshire. The Anglicisation of this Norman French surname took many forms, including Levett, Levet, Lyvet, Levytt, Livett, Delivett, Levete, Leavett, Leavitt, Lovett and others.

Levett family members were early knights and Crusaders — many members of both English and French branches of the family were Knights Hospitallers — and they occupied a place in the English landed gentry for centuries. Unlike the French branch of the family, no members of the English branch were ennobled, although they intermarried with nobility and served as courtiers. The Levett name was joined with such well-known English clans as the Byrons, the Darwins, the Ashley-Coopers, the Hulses, the Bagots, the Prinseps, the Ansons, the Feildings, the Holdsworths, the Reresbys, the Breretons, the Suttons, the Kennedys, the Cullums, the Gargraves, the Gresleys, the Legges and others. Source: Wikipedia: LEVETT (off site).

Looking for the following book ‘The Levetts of Staffordshire’ by Dyonese Levett Haszard, (privately printed) to help greatly with the overall LEVETT tree.

John LEVETT (1821 - 1888) is of particular interest he was born in Lancaster Street, Lewes, East Sussex, England and was transported to Tasmania, Australia as a convict on the "Joseph Somes (I)" in 1846. His two trials newspaper reports are here.

Some pictures, (some very kindly taken by Geoff Foster), of the church (St John sub Castro in Lancaster Street) where John LEVETT went and was christened are as follows:
St John sub Castro - March 2000,
St John sub Castro - March 2000,
St John sub Castro graveyard - March 2000,
Looking along Lancaster Street outside St John sub castro towards the Levett family house - March 2000
St John sub Castro - circa 1870.

I now have evidence from of handwritten tree from Albert LEVETT (John LEVETT's nephew) that John SMITH (about 1824 - 1888) and John LEVETT (1821 - 1888) are the same person.

Another LEVETT researchers is:
Joanne Bruce's LEVETT/LEVITT and other genealogies (off site).

Disclaimer and Copyright:
While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy in transcribing, mistakes will inevitably occur. Researchers should always check the original documents.

All personally transcribed materials on this site may be used for personal family histories and research but may not be used for any commercial purpose whatsoever without express permission of the original researcher or ricksmith61 AT gmail.com.

All photographs etc are used with kind permission.

Copyright remains with the original researcher or ricksmith61 AT gmail.com © 2005-2023.
To link to this site please only use this page: https://sites.rootsweb.com/~ricksmith61/smith.html

For privacy reasons I have tried NOT to include people who were born less than 100 years ago and are still living.

I will update these trees on a regular basis. Please note further information may be available on request by descendants or researchers. Please use this information positively and acknowledge all source(s) of the information contained in this website.

I hope you enjoy these records and contribute any corrections or additions.

Please email me at: ricksmith61 AT gmail.com

Kind regards
Rick Smith

(Last Update: January 2023).
ricksmith61 AT gmail.com
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