The Irish surname Petty is originally of English origin, the main branch in Ireland having been established in County Kerry in the 17th century by Sir William Petty. The name is derived from Old French or Catalan petit meaning “small,” hence a nickname for the younger of two bearers of the same personal name. The name is first recorded in 1198 when William Petit is registered in the "Feet of Fines of Nottinghamshire." In Ireland today the name is most frequently found in counties Galway and Fermanagh. A notable bearer of the name is Dermott Petty the Irish independent filmmaker. Today there are more than 35,000 people with the family name Petty living in The United States.
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