This ancient and distinguished name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and a locational surname deriving from any one of the various places called Chesterton, in Cambridgeshire, Gloucestershire, Huntingdonshire, Oxfordshire, Staffordshire and Warwickshire. These places are all recorded early on, sometimes before the Domesday Book of 1086, in forms such as "Cestretone, Cestretune", and "Cestertune", showing their derivation from the Olde English pre 7th Century "ceaster", usually denoting a Roman fort or station, with "tun", enclosure, settlement. The Olde English "ceaster" was adopted from the Latin "castra", legionary camp, dating from the Roman occupation of Britain, pre 400 A.D. All of the places called Chesterton are on or near the site of a Roman fort. Locational surnames were originally given as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. Early recordings of the name include: Robert de Chesterton (1227, Oxfordshire), and Edward Chestreton (1416, Warwickshire). Staffordshire Church Records list the marriage of Thomas Chesterton and Elizabeth Bradberie at Ashley, on November 11th 1599. Perhaps the most well known bearer of the name was the English essayist, novelist and poet G. K. Chesterton (1874 - 1936), author of the "Father Brown" stories. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Bruning de Cestretona, which was dated 1086, in the "Ely Inquisitions", during the reign of King William 1, known as "William The Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. 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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