This interesting surname of English origin with variant spellings Beacon, Becon, Bacon etc. is a locational name from Beacon, a hamlet in Devon, or Beacon in Cornwall, deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century "beacon" (Old Saxon "bocan") meaning "sign". It may also be a dialectal variant of Bacon, a metonymic nickname for a pork-butcher, deriving from the Middle English "bacon", "bacun" meaning "bacon". The surname dates back to the 12th Century, (see below). Church recordings include one Bassell Becon who was christened on January 14th 1559 at St.Stephen Walbrook, John Beacon who was christened on August 17th 1570, at St. Botolph's without Aldgate, London, and Mathewe, son of Charles Beacon, was christened on November 1st 1571, also at St. Botolph's without Aldgate. John, son of Arthur and Elizabeth Beacon, was christened in Mylor, Cornwall, on June 18th 1666. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Bacun which was dated circa 1150, in the Staffordshire Chartulary, during the reign of King Stephen, "The Count of Blois", 1135 - 1154. 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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