This long-established name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from any of the various places so called, in Berkshire, Cheshire, Derbyshire, Durham, Herefordshire, Huntingdonshire, Lancashire and Nottinghamshire. Elton in Berkshire is recorded in the 1220 Book of Fees as "Elphinton" and is so called from the Olde English pre 7th Century female personal name "Aethelflaed" (noble-beauty), with "tun", enclosure, settlement, while Elton in Huntingdonshire is "Adelintune" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and is derived from the Olde English personal name "Aethelheah" (noble-high), with "tun" as before. The other places called Elton are variously recorded in Domesday and medieval registers as "Eltone, Eltune, Eltun, Elintune, Elleton" and "Ailetone", and all are named with the Olde English personal name "Ella" or Elli", short forms of various compound names with the first elements "aelf", elf, and "tun". The place in Durham, however, may also have as its first element the Olde English "ael", eel, to mean "place where eels were caught". William de Elton' is recorded in the Leicestershire Subsidy Rolls of 1327, and James Elton is listed in the "Inquisitiones Post Mortem" of Nottinghamshire in 1434. In London, the marriage of John Elton and Agnes Carter was recorded at St. Margaret's, Westminster, on April 14th 1583. One of the family Coats of Arms is a paly of six silver and red, on a black bend three silver mullets. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas de Eleton, which was dated 1230, in the "Pipe Rolls of Berkshire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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