This unusual Scottish name is a developed form of Lautie or Lawtie, locational surnames which originate from the lands of Laithis, in Ayreshire. The name is first recorded in the original form when Thomas Laithis granted the lands to the Fullertons in c.1350. The name development appears to be to Lathis in 1476 and Layse in 1509, whilst it appears as Lawte at Coldingham in 1525. As Latta, the first recording is also from Lochwinnoch in 1709, the name being also found at Dumbarton and Aberdeen c. 1850. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of James Lattay which was dated 1677, in the Parish of Lochwinnoch during the reign of King Charles 11, known as 'The Merry Monarch' 1660-1685. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.