This very uncommon surname, chiefly recorded in the north western English county of Lancashire under the variant spellings Frankleton, Francleton, Franckleton, Frangilton and Frankeldon, is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is believed to be a locational name from some minor, unrecorded, or now "lost" place thought to have been situated in Lancashire because of the high incidence of surname recordings from that county. The final element of the placename is the Old English pre 7th Century "tun", enclosure, settlement, village, and the first element is the male given name "Franca", "javelin" (also found in Frankton, Warwickshire and Shropshire), with the diminutive suffix "-el"; hence, "Francel's tun". The prime cause of medieval village "disappearance" was the enforced clearing of rural settlements, and the consequent dispersal of the former inhabitants to make way for sheep pastures at the height of the wool-trade from the 14th Century on, along with natural causes such as the Black Death of 1348, in which an eight of the population perished. Alternatively, Frankleton/Frangleton may be a dialectal variant of Freckleton, a parish near Preston in Lancashire, so called from an obscure personal name "Frecla", with "tun" (as before). On January 22nd 1643, John Frankleton was christened at Rochdale, Lancashire, and on March 30th 1755, the christening of Peggy, daughter of John Frangleton, took place at Warrington, Lancashire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Freckleton, which was dated April 25th 1541, a christening witness at Kirkham, Lancashire, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Bluff King Hal", 1509 - 1547. 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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