This interesting name of Medieval English origin, with the modern variants Cattonnet, Catonnet, Catonne, Catenot, and Cathenod, is locational from places so called in Derbyshire and Lancashire. The derivation of the former is the Old English personal name "Cade", a survival from a Germanic root meaning swelling, which may have been applied to a large person, and is recorded in the Subsidy Rolls of that county in 1330 as "Cadetone", with the second element "tun", a settlement, thus Cada's town. However the place in Lancashire, first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Catun", and in the Pipe Rolls of 1186 as "Catlon", derives its first element from the Old Norse byname "Kati", meaning boy. The following example illustrates the name development after the earliest recording of the name (see below), Peter "Catoun", (1327 Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk). Amongst the early recordings in Lancashire is Agnes Caton who married John Bensonn on January 26th 1559. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Caton, which was dated 1279, in the "Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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