Last name: Claxton

This unusual name, of Anglo-Saxon origin, is a locational name from any one of the various places in Durham, Norfolk or North Yorkshire, which are first recorded as "Clachestona" (1091), "Clakestona" (1086, Domesday Book) and "Claxtorp" (1086, ibid), respectively. The placenames all have the same derivation, which is from the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Clacc", or the Old Norse "Klakkr", which may have been nicknames for a "chatterer", plus the Olde English "tun", meaning an enclosure or settlement and later town or village. Locational surnames were used especially for those who left their original homes and went to live or work in another town or village. Leon de Claxton was mentioned in the "History and antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham" in 1335. The marriage licence for John Stubbes and Elizabeth Claxton was issued in London in 1574. Marshall Claxton (1813-1881) was a notable painter who exhibited pictures in Australia, India and London and also visited Egypt and Rome. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger de Claxton, which was dated 1272, Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham, during the reign of King Edward 1st, "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.

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