This is an English locational surname. Recorded as Danton, Danthon, Dainten, Dainton, and possibly others, it seems to originate from a hamlet called Dainton near Ipplepen, in the county of Devonshire. This place was first recorded in the year 956 a.d., a century before the famous Norman Conquest of 1066, and almost at the begining of surviving written records. At that time Dainton, which seems to have been a local slang pronunciation, was recorded as Doddintuna, or the place of the Dodda people, a famous tribe whose influence extended over most of south-west England.In fact a place called Dodington still exists one hundred and fifty miles away in the county of Gloucestershire. This was also recorded in the famous Domesday Book of 1086 as Dodintune. As to when the Devon village became Dainton is uncertain, but probably around the 15th century at a time when the language began to change from the Middle English of Chaucer, to what we now know as Modern or Standard English. Nor is it clear when the surname was first recorded. Locational surnames were ones given either to the local lord of the manor, or more usually to former villagers who for whatever reason had moved somewhere else, and were most easily identified by their former homes. Spelling being at best erratic and local dialects very thick, soon lead to the creation of "sounds like" spellings. In this case we have the recording of Thomas Danton at Yealmpton, near Plymouth, on March 20th 1605, whilst in the city of London, James Dainton was a christening witness at St Clement Danes, Westminster, on March 10th 1750
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