Last name: Newton

This is a famous English surname of locational origins. There are believed to be eighty-three places called Newton or Newtown in England and Wales, and it is said that the place name appears in every one of the forty three English counties, except for Westmoreland and Rutland. The place name spelling and hence the surname does vary, and includes for instance the villages called Naunton, Newington, Newnton, Niton and Nyton, all in the south of England. All places however spelt share the same basic derivation and meaning, which is "new homestead or village" from the Olde English pre 7th century word "neowa", meaning new, and "tun", a settlement or village. During the Middle Ages when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was becoming more common, people often took their former village name as an easy means of identification. This resulted in a wide dispersal of the name. Given that spelling was at best erratic and local dialects very thick, this often lead to the development of "sounds like" spellings. Early interesting examples of the ssurname recording include John Newton, an early emigrant to the New World. He left London in November 1635 on the ship "Expedition", bound for Barbados, whilst Sir Isaac Newton (1642 - 1727), the early scientist, is perhaps the most notable bearer of the name. He discovered the laws of motion and gravity. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alward de Niwetuna. This was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book of Norfolk, during the reign of King William 1st, known as "The Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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