Clan Tait History
The surname Tait was originally a nickname.
According to Venerable Bede, in his book ‘The Ecclesiastical History of the English People’, Ethelberga, who was daughter of Ethelbert, king of Kent, she was also known as ‘Tate’ (feminie), and there are nine indivduals recorded as being called ‘Tata’ (masculine) in Walter de Gray Birch’s Cartularium Saxonicum.
Tate is also a Yiddish (Jewish) word meaning ‘father’.
In Old Norse the word teitr appears, meaing ‘glad’, or ‘cheerful’, and in the Icelandic manuscript Landnámabók the word appears numerous times but as an actual name, Teitr.
There are several entries of payment of a pension recorded between 1362 and 1370 to John Tayt, a clerk, who seemed to have been connected to the hospital of Montrose.
In 1381, Alexander Tayt was recorded as being burgess of Edinburgh.
Adam Tayte, in 1424, was granted safe conduct papers so he could travel to England, and it is thought that he is the same person as the Adam Tayt, scrutifer, who was witness to a charter in Paisley in 1432.
In Edinburgh, in 1490, Andrew Tait was Master of the Flesher Craft, and a different Andrew Tayt was, in 1492, one of the preambulators of Yochry’s and Achbrady’s boundries.
A Robert Tait was recorded in 1531 as being a tenant of the land of Wydsyd, and Christie Tett and Dand Taitt were tenants of Kelso Abbey in 1567.
There is a record of the surname as far north as Orkney in 1575.
The barony of Cherrytrees was in the possession of a family by this name in 1605.
An ancient family in Tweedale, the Taits of Pirn, ended their line with wo heiresses, Anne and Margaret, of which one was recorded as having married a Horsburgh of that Ilk.
Born in Edinburgh on 21st December, 1811, Archibald Campbell Tait was the archbishop of Canterbury from 1868 to the year of his death in 1882. He died at the age of 70 on 3rd December.
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