This unusual and interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from any of the various places called Kirton, for example in Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Suffolk, recorded respectively in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Chirchetune, Circeton" and "Kirketuna". The placename, in all cases, derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "cirice", church (replaced by the Old Norse "kirkja", church), and "tun", enclosure, settlement; hence, "settlement by the church". During the Middle Ages, when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was becoming more common, people often took their former village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name, with regional and dialectal differences producing variations in the spelling of the name.In the modern idiom the surname can be found as Kirton, Kerton, Kurton, Curton and Cureton. William Kirton is listed as a "Freeman of York" in 1508. On December 30th 1675, Charles Cureton married Mary Stafford at St. Mary's, St. Marylebone Road, London, and Hannah Cureton married Robert Prinn on September 21st 1680, at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Lambert de Kirketon, which was dated 1219, witness in the "Assize Court Rolls of Lincolnshire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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