This interesting surname has a number of possible origins. Firstly, it may have originated from the old French "fortune" meaning chance or luck and would have been a nickname for a gambler. In some cases, it may derive from the rare medieval given names Fortunatus (male) meaning prosperous or Fortune (female) meaning good luck. It is also Scottish locational origin from the lands of Fortune in East Lothian, composed of the old English pre 7th Century elements "for" meaning hog or pig, plus "tun" a settlement or enclosure; hence "pig enclosure". The surname was first recorded in the early 13th Century (see below). Other early recordings of the surname from church registers include; Fortuna Fortune, who was christened on July 7th 1556 at St. Margaret's, Westminster; William Fortune who married Margarett Gill, on January 10th 1582 at Kildwick, Yorkshire; Gate Fortune who was christened on January 15th 1585 at St. Mary at Hill London, and Marye Fortune who married Richard Glashyre, on June 19th 1587 at Chirstchurch, Greyfriars, Newgate, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de Fortun, which was dated circa 1200, Records of the Abbey of Kelso, during the reign of King William, "The Lion of Scotland", 1165 - 1214. 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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