Last name: Middleton
This distinguished surname, of Anglo-Saxon origin, borne by the Barons of Barham, the Earls of Middleton, and having no less than forty-two Coats of Arms, is a locational name from any of the various places, at least twenty-five of them, throughout England named with the Olde English pre 7th Century "midel", middle, and "tun", a farm or settlement. These places are recorded variously as "Middeltune", "Middeltone" and "Mideltuna" in the Domesday Book of 1086 for Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Shropshire and Sussex. Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. Early examples of the surname include: Umfridus de Midilton (Arbroath, Scotland, 1221) and Gilbert de Middelton (Yorkshire, 1273). One of the earliest of the name to settle in America was John Middleton who embarked from London on the ship "Assurance" bound for Virginia in July 1635. Charles Middleton, second Earl of Middleton and titular Earl of Monmouth (1640 - 1719), was secretary of state to James 11, and secretary of state for England in 1684. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Mideltone, which was dated 1166, in the "Eynsham Chartulary", Oxfordshire, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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