This interesting name, recorded in English Church Registers from the late 16th Century under the variant spellings Chottin, Chaut(t)on, and Chat(t)on, has two distinct possible origins. Firstly, the name may be a French Huguenot introduction. Recordings include the marriage of Jeanne Chottin to David le Roy in Canterbury, Kent, on March 16th 1590, and the christening of Abraham, son of Anthoine Chotin, in the French Huguenot Church Threadneedle Street, London, on June 22nd 1656. One John Chaut(t)on was christened in St. Mary's, Somerset, London, on May 24th 1601, and a Coat of Arms granted to the Chauton family of Guyenne (a former province of South West France) is recorded heraldically in Riestap's "Armorial General". It depicts three gold tortoises on a blue shield divided by a gold chevron. The second possibility is that the name is of English locational origin from a place in Northumberland called Chatton. The first element is the Olde English personal name "Ceatta", of uncertain etymology, and the second element "tun", a settlement; hence, "Ceatta's settlement". On January 26th 1636, Robert Chaton, an infant, was christened in St. Alphage's, Greenwich, Kent. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Anne Chatten, which was dated May 12th 1695, christened at Tynemaith, Northumberland, during the reign of King William 111, "William of Orange and England", 1689 - 1702. 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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