Recorded in many forms including Dayton, Deaton, Deighton, Dieton, and Dyton, this is an English surname. It is locational and originates from any of three villages called Deighton near the city of York and the towns of Huddersfield and Northallerton, all in the county of Yorkshire. First recorded as "Dictone" in the famous Domesday Book of 1086 it derives from the Olde English pre 7th century word "dic", meaning a ditch or dyke, and the suffix "tun", meaning a farm or settlement; hence, " The settlement surrounded by a dyke or moat". Locational surnames, such as this, were usually acquired by the local lord of the manor, or by those former inhabitants who had moved to another area, usually in search of work, and were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace. Early recordings include Robert de Dighton, who appeared in the Register of the Freeman of the City of York, dated 1330, and Johannes de Dyghton, recorded in the Poll Tax records of Yorkshire in 1379. Other early recordings from surviving church registers include the christening of Mary, the daughter of Thomas Deighton, on June 7th 1623, at Thirsk. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas de Dicton. This was dated 1204, in the "Assize Court rolls of Yorkshire", during the reign of King John, 1199 - 1216. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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