This name is of English locational origin from any of the several places thus called, for example Gayton in Cheshire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Staffordshire, Northamptonshire etc.. Recorded variously as Gaitone, Gettone and Gaituna in the Domesday Book of 1086 for the above counties, the name derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "gata" meaning "goat", plus "tun", a farm, hence, "Farm where goats were reared". The surname is first recorded in the latter half of the 13th Century, (see below). Gatton in Surrey, recorded as Gatatun in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, dated 871, and as Gatone in the Domesday Book, derives its name from the same source. Edmund Gayton (1608 - 1666) M.A. St. John's College, Oxford, (1633) was adopted as a son by Ben Jonson, he published, among other works, "Notes on Don Quixote", 1654. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph de (of) Gayton, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Lincolnshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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