Latta Family Origins



This website is designed to provide information on the Latta and Latto names and genealogy for Scotland, England and Wales, Ireland and to a limited degree for Australia and New Zealand.

The information on this site is regularly updated as new information becomes available.   The most recent update was posted on February 23, 2024.

I have collected the records over a number of years from various sources.

I would urge anyone who can add information that is blank here or can make connections between individuals or who sees any errors, to e-mail me at

The records consist of lists of births, marriages and deaths for England, Wales and Scotland for male and female Lattas.       These are sub-divided between records pre-dating central registration (1837 for England and Wales and 1855 for Scotland) and those after registration.     There are also male Latta name lists for all first names.       There are comparable birth, marriage and death lists for the Latto name.   

What the site does not do is provide any information on the Latta name in the USA.    For that please refer to the excellent Latta Genealogy site at

Quality of Records

In general records after national registration seem largely accurate.    In the early years there appears to have been some under-registration so some records are missing but I have found only very rare evidence of this after about 1870.

The information prior to registration was originally derived mainly from the International Genealogical Index (IGI) records.   These are by their nature difficult to check but there are clearly errors of transcription.     Naturally the greatest problem is the lack of records for some parishes or the refusal of certain parishes to allow the LDS researchers to transcribe the records.   I have supplemented the IGI in a number of cases by direct review of parish records.    More recently information on sites such as Scotland's People and FindmyPast have been used to supplement and verify the pre-registration records.

Personally created records such as those found on FamilySearch or must be treated with considerable caution as I have found frequent errors in such cases.  

The Latta Name

It is clear that the name of most of the people listed on this site originates in Scotland.     The name is associated with a belt across central Scotland from Fifeshire in the east to Ayrshire in the west. 

Prior to 1800 the name is spelled haphazardly by the clerks or clergy registering life events at the parish level.     Given the general lack of literacy, those completing the records made the choice on spelling.   If the same family moved from one parish to another or if a new clerk arrived in a given parish, the spelling would frequently change.

From the early years of the nineteenth century, spelling became more standard.    In Ayrshire, the accepted spelling became Latta and in Fifeshire and Angus, it became Latto, although with exceptions in both cases.    Those moving to the major cities of Glasgow or Edinburgh for work might carry over the spelling of the name or it might change. 

In the records I have listed I have chosen to record all Latta and Latto entries up to the beginning of registration (1855 in Scotland and 1837 in England and Wales).    By the mid nineteenth century, spelling becomes more fixed and from then on a switch from one spelling to another is rarer.   

However, it is clear that many Lattas and Lattos have distant ancestors with the opposite spelling of their name. 

It should also be noted that the name Latta appears in records for some other countries.    In some cases, such families originally emigrated from Scotland or Ireland which is certainly the case with families in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA.    The name, however, also seems to have a separate existence in Finland and Hungary, as well as some families in Italy.    

Geoffrey W. Latta

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