The surname Evatt is British with Norman French roots. Early spellings included Evot and Euote. It was first seen in England in 1295, recorded in the Barnwell Church in respect of William Walter Euote. He sits at the top of the known Evatt family tree and was born in about 1266 near Ruskington in Lincolnshire.
Atkinson Family Website
There is a website which has a book on it called Early Evatts. Follow the link to Atkinson Family Website Then click on Books. On the right hand side there is a book called Early Evatts. If you click on this you will download a pdf file.
William Evot (* 3) of Leyk and Ruskington
There are various records of a line of William Evots: William Evot of Leyk in the late 13th C; his son William Evot of Ruskington and grandson - another William Evote or Evot of Ruskington. Leyk is in Nottinghamshire and Ruskington in Lincolnshire. This last William was High Sheriff of London for the year 1399-1400 and was also the Warden of London Bridge.
Robert of Kent and Thomas Evatt of Kent
Robert was the son of William, High Sheriff of London. His son, Thomas of Kent was born in 1413 and died in 1483. Thomas possessed land in Kent, near Dartford. He had at least 4 children but only one has been traced - Robert of Kegworth
Robert Evatt of Kegworth
Robert Evatt of Kegworth was born circa 1485. He died in 1556. In 1545, he was residing at Kegworth (a place situated in the extreme N.W. of Leicestershire, England, about three miles from the town of Castle Donington and six miles from the town of Loughborough).
By his marriage to a lady of whom no particulars have been traced except that her Christian name was Alice, he had the following children:
1. The Rev. Robert Evatt, Anglican Rector of the Parish of Little Ellingham, Co. Norfolk from 1580 to 1608.
2. The Rev. Thomas Evatt, Anglican Rector of the Parish of South Stoke, Lincolnshire from 1566 to 1589.
3. Miss ... Evatt who married a Mr. Hill.
Will of Robert Evatt of Kegworth
His will is recorded in the Leicester Probate Office Register; however, it contains no family particulars beyond naming his son Robert as Executor and his wife Alice as Executrix. (The wording of the document does include an appeal to the Saints).
The Rev Thomas Evatt
According to the book, Rev Thomas Evatt, Rector of North and South Stoke, near Grantham Lincolnshire from 1566-1589, is believed to be the common progenitor of all the known present (AD2000) Protestant Evatts worldwide. The book records a bit about his ordinations and claims that between 1559 and 1566 he seceded from the Church of Rome and became one of the first of the Reformation Clergy in England. He died as Rector of North and South Stoke in 1589.
Sons of Thomas
Thomas had 6 children including 3 sons. The sons were: the Rev Richard Evatt, Rector of Stamford; The Very Rev John Evatt, Dean of Elphin and the Rev Timothy Evatt who was curate of St Mary's Stamford Town Parish from 1623 to 1633.
According to Wikipedia, the Evatt family name can be found in England, the United States, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. More Evatts are found in South Carolina than any other part of the world.
The Contributors to the book: Early Evatts
The main contributors/investigators were: a Major General Sir George Joseph Hamilton Evatt KCB, the Surgeon General (1843-1921); a George Evatt(1860-1922) and an Honourable Justice Phillip George Evatt DSC(1922-2010)
Our connections to these distinguished people
Sadly, if we are related to these people who all seem to be based in Australia or New Zealand, the connection goes a long long way back - to the 16th Century or earlier.
Relationship to John Evatt, our ancestor
We know that John Evatt was married in 1660, and in the same year spent some time in Leicester Jail as a Dissenter. We also know he was a blacksmith and it is this that makes me doubt that he was descended from Thomas's sons. I think the link goes back to Robert of Kegworth, or a brother of his. Of course there may be no link at all, but Kegworth and Castle Donington are very close so it seems likely there is a connection.