This uncommon and interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from either of the places called Doughton in Gloucestershire and in Norfolk. The place in Gloucestershire was a very early settlement, being recorded in the Saxon Chartulary of 775 - 778 as "(aet) Ductune", and in the Charter Rolls of the county of 1301 as "Dughtone"; the place in Norfolk was first recorded as "Doketon" in the orfolk Feet of Fines of 1196. Both places share the same meaning and derivation, which is "the duck farm", from the Olde English pre 7th Century "duce", duck, with "tun", enclosure, settlement, farm. Locational surnames were acquired by the lord of the manor, and local landowners, and especially by those former inhabitants of a place who moved to another area, usually in search of work, and who were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace. The surname development has included: James Dowtenge (Norfolk, 1570); Sibell Dowtinge (Wiltshire, 1574); and Margery Dowton (Gloucestershire, 1609). The following are examples from Church Registers: the marriage of Thomas Doughton and Joane Pixsley at Deerhurst, Gloucestershire, in June 1577, and the marriage of Peter Doughton and Sarnnel Fisher, on July 14th 1595, at Ipswich in Suffolk. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Douton, which was dated September 3rd 1564, witness to the christening of his son, Thomas, at St. Antholin's, Budge Row, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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