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About the study

The Littler One Name Study developed from years of research into the origin of my great-grandfather in England, Samuel Littler. A difficult task that, while ultimately successful, proved a hard nut to crack. Consequently, a vast amount of material on the Littler family has been built up over the years that may help other family members break through their own brick walls. With the help of a cousin my own eureka moment was the discovery that great-grandfather Samuel, although born in Manchester to a single woman, was actually brought up by family members in the small settlement of Elton, Cheshire. The name Littler was registered with the Guild of One-Name Studies in 2015.

Variant names

Over the years the Littler name has had many iterations, although today the current spelling appears universal. From the 13th Century 'Litel Oure' our name has evolved through Lyttelo're, Lytler and Litler before settling into the present spelling throughout the 18th Century.

Name origin

The surname Littler derives from the corruption of Little Over, formerly a small hamlet in Cheshire, England and close by the River Weaver. The adjacent village of Over and the the larger town of Winsford have both expanded over the years to now encompass our former lands.

Historical occurrences of the name

Richard Littler (c.1620-1703) is my earliest proven ancestor. He married Margaret Cawley in 1648 and from their son William my line continues unbroken for twelve generations. Unfortunately, there are three options on whom the parents of Richard may be, one of which leads to Ralph Littler of Wallerscote and his second wife Mary Littler of London.

Sir John Hunter Littler (1783-1856). Born in Tarvin and educated in Acton, Sir John distinguished himself in the armed forces over a period of fifty years. From the time he was appointed ensign in the 10th Bengal Native Infantry in 1800, to his retirement as lieutenant-general in 1851, a greater part of his life was spent in India. In 1827 he married Helen Olympia Stewart and on their nine children only four survived him, all daughters.

Sir Ralph Daniel Markinson Littler (1835-1908). Son of a clergyman, Sir Ralph's father was a cousin of Sir John Hunter Littler. Educated at University College School and University College, London, Sir Ralph graduated B.A. in 1854, the same year he was admitted to the Inner Temple. He was the author of several pamphlets, co-authored a number of books and through his interest in engineering proved useful as counsel for the railway companies. Sir Ralph had a reputation of assisting young offenders to reform but was often criticized for meting out harsh sentences to the habitual criminal.

Blanche, Prince and Emile Littler (20th Century). All three siblings became well-known identities in the entertainment world; producing plays and owning theatres in London's West End and throughout the Counties. They were actually the children of Julius Richeux and Agnes May Paisey, who took the Littler name upon their mother's second marriage to Frank Rolison Littler, in 1914. Frank R. Littler hails from the Staffordshire Littlers and was a theatrical producer himself.

Distribution of the name

In early parish records the Littler name is found largely in Cheshire with smaller pockets appearing in the neighbouring counties of Lancashire and Staffordshire as the Industrial Revolution gained traction. During the 17th Century our name appeared in Hertfordshire and Essex, namely the area surrounding Waltham Abbey. It is believed the origins of this group are in Cheshire. The Littler name is also found in London quite early in the piece and again with connections to Cheshire.


Initially entries gleaned from early parish records will be made available on this Website, with the goal of listing all Littler entries upto and including the 1841 England and Wales Census.


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