This interesting name is of medieval English origin and is locational from various places so called, in Devon and in Derbyshire. However, these places do not all stem from the same source, for example, Gratton in High Bray, Devon, is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Gretedone", and is derived from the Old English pre 7th Century "greate" great, with "dun" hill, while Gratton in Meavy, Devon, recorded in the 1242 Fees appears as "Gropeton", and is derived from the Old English "grop", meaning a ditch, with "tun", a settlement.The place in Derbyshire, recorded in the Domesday Book as "Gratune", derives from "greate", and "tun", thus "great settlement", and there are also a number of small places in Devon which have as their source the dialectal word "gratton" meaning stubble field. In Atherington, Devon on May 28th 1630, one Margaret Gratton, the infant daughter of John and Prudence Gratton was christened. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Gratton, which was dated 1327, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Derbyshire", during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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