Recorded in the spellings of Arton and the occasional Artone and Artin, this is an English locational surname. It is well recorded in the county of Yorkshire, and particularly around the West Riding region, and is generally regarded as being local to the county. Whether this is so or not is open to argument. No such place as Arton or any reasonably similar spelling is to be found in the British gazetters, nor has a search back through the surviving records and registers provided any further clues as to its whereabouts. Locational surnames are by their nature 'from' names. That is to say names given to peoiple after they left their original village and moved elsewhere. This could be the next village or town, or the next county, and as a rule of thumb the further the movement the more likely that the spelling of the subsequent surname wasa changed. It seems therefore that this is a surname which originates from a now 'lost' medieval village, of which the only reminder in the 20th century is the surviving surname. This is unusual but not unique. As many as 8% of all British surnames are believed to originate from lost villages. The spelling of the surname suggests that it is a short form of "Athur's tun", and therefore possibly from Atherton in Lancashire, but that is unproven. Early examples of the surname recording taken from the Yorkshire registers include: Thomas Arton, the son of Thome Arton, christened at Elland, on October 10th 1562, Grace, the daughter of James Arton, christened at Horsforth, near Leeds, on December 26th 1651, and John Artin, the son of Zechariah Artin, christened at Halifax, on December 9th 1798.
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