Last name: Lighten
This name is of English locational origin from amy of the various places thus called. These places include Layton, east of Blackpool in Lancashire, recorded as latun in the Domesday Book of 1086, and East and West Layton in the North Riding of Yorkshire. The former place was so called from the Old English pre 7th Century "lad", Old Law German "lede", a water-course or conduit, plus the Old English "tun", a settlement. The latter two places, recorded as Lastun in the Domesday Book, and as Laton in the 1199, Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire, derive their name from the Old English "leac", leek, plus "tun", a settlement; hence, "settlement where leeks were grown". Leighton in Bedfordshire, Shropshire Lancashire etc., are also named with the Old English "leac-tun" and the surname may also derive from one of these places. One, Richard de Layton was noted in the 1292 "Pipe Rolls of Cumberland", and Richard Layton became dean of York in 1534, and ambassador to Brussels, 1543. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Lecton, which was dated 1201, "The Pipe Rolls of Shropshire", 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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