This is an English locational surname. It originates from the village of Dorton, a parish in the County of Buckinghamshire. The population of this village in 1960 was given as only one hundred and thirty five. The meaning of the village name and hence the later surname, is probably 'the settlement where deer were kept', from the pre 7th century Olde English 'deor-tun'. Another possibility is the Olde English 'dor-tun', which translates as 'the settlement with a door'. This clearly does not mean a door as such. It may refer to a narrow passage, but the most likely meaning is a gate where in ancient times local taxes or tolls were extracted by the lord of the manor. Anything is possible with 'names'. It is often difficult in the 20th century, as it will be for people in the 30th, to imagine the precise circumstances which could have lead to the adoption of a name, a thousand or more years ago. What is certain is that the hereditary surname, like all surnames, is much later in recordings than the place from which it originates. In this case early examples of the surname recording taken from authentic surviving church registers of the post medieval period include: William Dorton, whose daughter Elizabeth was christened at St Peters church, Cornhill, in the city of London, on December 17th 1609, whilst another William Dorton also had a daughter this time called Dorothy. She was christened at St Mary's church, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, on May 5th 1619.
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