This interesting name is English, and locational in origin. It derives from the villages of Lawton in Cheshire, both being recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book as 'Lautune'. There is also a Lawton village in Herefordshire and this is also recorded in the Domesday Book as 'Lautone', although perhaps strangeley this village does not seem to have been the originating source of any surnames. The name derives from two old pre 7th Century English words "hlaw", meaning a low hill or a mound and "tun", a fenced enclosure or settlement, although it is also possible that in some circumstances the meaning could apply to either a burial mound or a tribal meeting place.The earliest recordings of the surname was at the beginning of the 13th Century (see below), whilst in the Assize Rolls for Cheshire, Philip de Lauton was a witness in 1281. Other recordings include Robert Lawton from Cheshire in the tax returns for Devon in 1642, and George Lawton (1779 - 1869) was a famous antiquarian and compiler of the book known as "Collectio Rerum Ecclesiasticatum". Hugo de Lawton in the time of King Henry V1 (1422 - 1461), bore the coat of arms with the blazon a silver field, on a fess between three black cross crosslets fitchee, a silver cinqefoil. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam de Lauton, which was dated 1205, in the Pipe Rolls of the county of Lancashire, during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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