This ancient and distinguished surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is either a topographical name from residence by an outlying grange, deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century "bere", barley, and "tun", enclosure, settlement, or a locational name from any of the various places named with the above elements. These places include: Barton in Staffordshire appearing as "Barton" in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, dated 942, and as "Bertone" in the Domesday Book of 1086; Barton in Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Warwickshire and Lincolnshire, all entered as "Bertone" in the Domesday Book, and also Barton in Kent, Suffolk, and the North Riding of Yorkshire. Early examples of the surname include: Paganus de Barton (Yorkshire, 1163); John de la Berton (Kent, 1273) and Thomas de Bartone of Ayrshire, who rendered homage in 1296. A leading family of the name settled in Ireland in the 13th Century, and are mainly identified with Straffan, County Kildare. Notable namebearers were: Andrew Barton, the Scottish naval commander, who cleared Scottish coasts of Flemish pirates in 1506, and Edward Barton, second English ambassador to Constantinople (1590). A Coat of Arms granted to a Barton, who was Lord Mayor of London, 1416 - 1430, is an ermine shield, on a saltire sable, an annulet gold, voided of the first. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Aelfric aet Bertune, which was dated 1015, in the "Anglo-Saxon Name Register", during the reign of Ethelred the Unready, 978 - 1016. 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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