This interesting surname, of Anglo-Saxon origin, is a locational name from a place called Axton which was an ancient land division in the county of Kent, deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century "isca" meaning "water", and "tun", farm, enclosure. It may also be a metathesized form from any of the numerous places called Ashton, deriving from the Olde English "oesc" meaning "ash", and "tun" (as before); hence, "the farm or enclosure where ash grew". Ashton in Devonshire was originally named as "the settlement of Aeschere", an Olde English personal name composed of the elements "oesc" meaning "ash, spear", and "here", army. The one in Hertfordshire was "the settlement of Aelli". Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually in search of work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. The surname dates back to the early 16th Century (see below), and variations in the idiom of the spelling include: Axten, Axton, Axston, Axtonne and Axtens. Recordings from London Church Registers include: the christening of Lawrence Axtonne at St. Peter's, Cornhill, on June 8th 1561, and the marriage of Alice Axten and Thomas Crafts in 1608. One Jacob Axton is recorded as being a landowner in the St. Davids' Island in 1662. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Agnes Axton, which was dated 1524, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk", during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Good King Hal", 1509 - 1547. 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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