This surname is of English locational origin from one of the estimated seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets that have now disappeared from the maps in Britain. The prime cause of these "disappearances" is the enforced "clearing" and dispersal of the former inhabitants to make way for sheep pastures at the height of the wool trade in the 14th Century. Natural causes such as the Black Death of 1348 also contributed to the lost village phenomenon. Gripton is composed of the Old English pre 7th Century elements "gripu" meaning "kettle or caldron" plus "tun", "enclosure or homestead", hence a tun in the deep valley. The surname dates back to the late 17th Century, (see below). One Edward Gripton married Mary Williams on January 5th 1702 at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, and John, son of John and Rebekah Gripton, was christened on May 10th 1727, at St. Giles, Cripplegate, London. Thomas, son of Thomas and Lucy Gripton, was christened on February 6th 1744 at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Susanna Gripton married Daniel Hanglin, which was dated 1697, St. Dunstan's Stepney, during the reign of King William 111, "William of Orange and England", 1689 - 1702. 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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