This name is of English locatonal origin from any of the several places thus called, for example in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Durham, Hampshire, Kent, Shropshire, Suffolk, Somerset and Wiltshire. Recorded variously as Ciltone, Ciltona and Cilletone in the Domesday Book of 1086 for the above counties, the name, in the majority of cases, derives from the Old English pre 7th Century "cild" literally meaning "child", (a term frequently used to describe a youth of noble birth), plus "tun", a settlement or enclosure.One place of this name in Somerset gets it's first element from the Old English "cealc", chalk or limestone, and one on the Isle of Wight from the personal byname "Ceola", from "Ceol", a ship. The surname first appears on record towards the end of the 12th Century, (see below). Other early recordings include Hugh de Chilton, (Wiltshire, 1273) and Robert de Chilton, (Suffolk 1292). James Chilton was one of the "Mayflower" passengers who sailed to the New World in 1620, together with his wife and daughter, Mary. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Chilton, which was dated 1195, "The Pipe Rolls of Northumberland", during the reign of King Richard 1, "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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