This unusual name is Olde English and is locational descriptive. The translation is "one who lived by the alder grove" and the composition is "atten-ald-reat" from the pre 7th Century. This type of descriptive name is not uncommon and is found in such names as Holloway, Bythewat, Nash and Noakes, all of which have a similar descriptive origin. The modern spellings are Aldritt, Alldritt, Eldnit, Naldrett and Neldrett, whilst the name development includes Robert atte Aldratt, Walter ate Nalderatte and Gilber ete Neldrett, all in the 1327 Rolls of Sussex which is the "home" of the name. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert atte Nalrette. which was dated 1305 (witness) at the Sussex Fines Court. during the reign of King Edward I, The Hammer of the Scots, 1272 - 1307. 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.