This interesting surname of English origin is a locational name from a place called Garton on the coast near Hull or another on the East Yorkshire wolds, both deriving their names from the Old Norse "garthr" meaning "enclosure" plus "tun" "settlement", "place". The placename is recorded as Gartun and Gartune in the Domesday Book of 1086. The surname dates back to the mid 12th Century, (see below). Further recordings include one Robert de Garton (1249) "The Calendar of Inguisitones post mortem, Yorkshire", and William Garton (1346) witness, "The Feet of Fines of Essex". Variations in the idiom of the spelling include Garter, Gartan, Gartin, etc. Stephen, son of Robert Garton, was christened on January 23rd 1571, and their daughter Anne, was christened on May 24th 1579, both at St. Giles, Cripplegate, London. William, son of James Garton, was christened at St. James Clerkenwell, London, on November 1590. One John Garrton is recorded in Militia Rolls of the Barbados in 1679. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Gertuna, which was dated 1163, in the "Transcripts of Charters relating to the Gilbertine Houses", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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