Recorded as Flaxton, Flaxon, Flexton, Flexen, Flixton, Flixon and others this is a confusing English locational surname. It originates from all or any of the following places and possibly others. Flaxton in North Yorkshire, Fletton in Peterborough and Suffolk, Flixton in the Yorkshire Wolds and also Suffolk, and other places whose original names meant 'flax' - also known as linen. All over England were communities growing flax, and these were amongst the earliest form of textile manufacture in the early industrial ages from about 1400 to 1750. At that time water and steam power allowed the creation of 'manufactories' on a major scale. The first known surviving church recording in any of the spellings is from the county of Yorkshire in 1558, as shown below. This was in the last year of the reign of King Henry V111th of England. Although not good with the ladies Henry was an early 'chief executive'. In 1535 he effectively abolished both the Roman Catholic religion and the monasteries which constituted their power, and gave 'registration' to the new church of England to increase its hold or popularity on the people, depending on your view. Locational surnames were originally those of the local landowner or squire, but in later times were usually given to former villagers who moved elsewhere in search of work particularly to London. For easy identification these new arrivals were often called by the 'locals' after their village, although countries far away such as Scotland, Ireland, Wales, France and Flanders provided many. Spelling being at best erratic, and local accents very thick, lead to the creation of many 'sounds like' spellings. An example of a locational surname was Robin of Loxley, also known as Robin of Sherwood, and sometimes Robin Hood. Early examples of recordings of this surname include Margaretta Flexen, who married to Geoffry Blunt, at St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on October 30th 1643, and the earliest of all being that of Robert Flaxton who married Isabella Keighley, at the unusually named church of All Saints Pavement, city of York, on January 15th 1558.
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