This is an English locational name from one of the numerous places thus called, for example, Charlton in Berkshire, Hampshire, Sussex, Wiltshire, Northumberland, Somerset etc. The name derives from the Olde English pre 7th century "ceorl" meaning a "peasant" or "serf" and "tun" a "farm" or "settlement". The Olde English "ceorlatun" meant "settlement of the peasants". The surname is first recorded towards the end of the 12th century. One Hugh de Charleton is recorded in Northumberland (1333). In 1588 a John Charlton, of Tatton, appears in 'The Wills Records at Chester'.In the modern idiom the name has four spelling variations: Charlton, Charleton, Chorlton and Carlton. On June 18th 1548, Mary, daughter of Francis Charlton, was christened at St. Mary's, Whitechapel, and the christening of Nicholas, son of Thomas Charlton, took place on November 8th 1573, at St. Dunstan's, in the East, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Jordan de Cherleton, which was dated 1193, in the "Pipe Rolls of Gloucestershire", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "Richard the Lionheart" 1189 - 1199. 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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