Recorded as Claxton and probably the dialectals Clackson and Claxson, this is an English surname. It is locational from any one of the various places in Durham, Norfolk or North Yorkshire, which were originally recorded as Clachestona, Clakestona, and Claxtorp in the Domesday Book of the year 1086. The placenames all have the same derivation, which is from the Olde English pre 7th century personal name "Clacc", or the Old Norse "Klakkr", both of which were nicknames for a "chatterer". To this has been added the word "tun", which has multiple meanings including a fenced enclosure, a settlement and much later a town or village. Locational surnames were used especially for those who left their original homes and went to live or work in another town or village. In this case Leon de Claxton was mentioned in the "History and antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham" in 1335, whilst a marriage licence was issued for John Stubbes and Elizabeth Claxton in London in 1574. John Claxson, the son of Phillip Claxson, was christened at St Lukes church, Finsbury, on December 7th 1777. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger de Claxton, which was dated 1272, Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham, during the reign of King Edward 1st, "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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