This is an English locational name from a number of places thus called, 'of Grafton'in Oxfordshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire, Yorkshire etc.. The name derives from the Old English pre 7th Century 'graf' - a grave and 'tun' - a settlement. The name was originally given to those in residence in such an area or to the Lord of the Manor as in the first recording. In 1443, one John Grafton appears in the Sussex Fine Court Rolls. That spelling (without variation) has been retained to the present day. An interesting namebearer was Richard Grafton, deceased 1572, printer of bibles and Church service books, M.P., London (1553 - 1554) and Coventry 1562-1563. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Graftona, which was dated 1130, The Pipe Rolls of Leicestershire, during the reign of King Henry I, The Administrator 1100 - 1135. 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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