Recorded in many forms including Deaton, Deighton, Dayton, and Dyton, this is an English surname. It is believed to be recorded mainly in the north of country, and is locational from any of three villages called Deighton near the towns of Northallerton, York and Huddersfield, all in the county of Yorkshire. The place name is recorded as "Distone" in the famous Domesday Book of 1086 and in all cases derives from the Olde English pre 7th century word "dic", meaning a ditch or dyke, plus the suffix "tun", a farm or settlement; hence, "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. The surname is first recorded at the beginning of the 13th Century (see below), and other 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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