Recorded in the spellings of Fortune and Fortun, with short or transposed forms as Forten, Fortin, Fortoun, and Forton, this is an Anglo-Scottish surname. It has a number of possible origins. Firstly, it may have originated from the estate known as "The lands of Fortune" in the county of East Lothian, Scotland. Here the derivation is from the Olde English words "for" meaning hog or pig, and "tun", a farm or settlement. Secondly for some nameholders it may originate from the pre 10th century old French word "fortune" meaning chance or luck, and introduced into Briotain after the Norman Conquest of 1066.As such it was a medieval nickname surname for a man of fortune, a gambler. Thirdly it may derive from either of a rare pair of medieval given names, "Fortunatus" (male), or "Fortune" (female), both meaning good luck. The surname was first recorded in Scotland in the 13th century, and early recordings of the surname include John Forton of Edinburgh in 1497, Fortuna Fortune, who was christened on July 7th 1556 at St. Margaret's, Westminster; and Robert Fortune, who was a distinguished Victorian explorer, born in Berwick in 1813. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de Fortun. This was dated 1200, in the surviving ecords of the Abbey of Kelso, during the reign of King William, The Lyon, of Scotland", 1165 - 1214. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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