Recorded in several spellings including Latek, Latjka, Lattka, and Latkowski, this is a Polish and Baltic region surname. It is sometimes locational from various villages whose spelling includes the prefix word "lato" meaning summer or sunny spot, although more likely for most name holders it was a medieval nickname for a person of sunny disposition, or given the robust humour of the period - the reverse! Locational surnames were usually "from" names. That is to say names given to people after they left their original homes, to move somewhere. Spelling being at best erratic and local dialects very thick, often lead to the development of alternative or "sounds like" spellings. In addition the surname originated from a region and countries which historically has rarely seen peace and democracy except for very short periods. This instability in itself has contributed to both the variant spellings and worst of all, a lack of accurate and consistent civil or church recordings.