This interesting surname of English origin is a locational dialectal variant of a place called Deighton in the East Riding, North Riding and West Riding of Yorkshire, or any of the numerous places called Ditton in Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Kent and Surrey, deriving from the Old English pre 7th Century "dic" meaning "ditch", "dyke" plus "tun" "enclosure", "settlement". It may also be from Dodington in Gloucestershire, Shropshire, and Somerset deriving from the personal name Dudda, Dodda, plus "tun", hence "the settlement of Dodda's or Dudda's people". The surname dates back to the early 13th Century, (see below). Variations in the idiom of the spelling include Dightam, Diteham, Dithem, Dightam, etc.. James Diteham married Isabella Cummingham at St. Leonard's Shoreditch, London, on October 3rd 1836. Sarah, daughter of James and Isabella Digham, was christened on October 17th 1841, at Christ Church South wark. Isabella Dightam married Thomas Shepard on June 29th 1870, at St. Thomas St. Marylebone, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas de Dicton, witness, which was dated 1204, The Assize Rolls of Yorkshire, during the reign of King John known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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