This uncommon surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from any of he various places called Gayton, entered as "Gaitone" in the Domesday Book of 1086; Gayton le Wold and Gayton le Marsh, Lincolnshire, recorded respectively as "Gettone" and "Geiton" in 1086 and 1206; Gayton, a parish and village, east of King's Lynn (Norfolk); a parish near Towcester in Northamptonshire; and a parish north east of Stafford in Staffordshire. All the above places share a common second element, that is, the Olde English pre 7th Century "tun", enclosure, settlement; however, the initial element may be either the Olde English "gata", goat, or an Olde English personal name or stream-name "Gaega, Gaege", akin to "gaegan", "to turn aside". As the surname is particularly well recorded in Norfolk Church Registers it is likely that Gayton in this county is the primary source of the name. In 1668, Samuel, son of Samuel and Elizabeth Guyton, was christened at St. George's Tombland, Norwick, and on July 13th 1688, the christening of Thomas, son of John and Cicely Guyton, took place in the same church. Some instances of the surname may be of French origin, with the spelling Guyton entered for "Guiton" or "Guitton", French surnames deriving from the Old French male given name "Guy". On January 19th 1701, Susanne, daughter of Daniel Guyton and Jeanne Godiveau, was christened at the French Episcopal Church, Gloucestershire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph de 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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