This is a surname of English origins. It is is locational from any of the places called Heaton in the counties of Northumberland, Yorkshire and Lancashire. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th century word 'heah', meaning high and 'tun', a settlement or farm, to give the translation of the dweller at the High Farm. During medieval times it was becoming increasingly popular for people to migrate from their birth place to other areas in search of work, and these people would often be given the name of their original homestead as an easy means of identification. This also resulted in a wide dispersal of the name. Early examples of the surname recording taken from surviving rolls and charters of the medieval period include: Alice Heaton, the daughter of Thomas Heaton, who was christened at Kirkham in Lancashire, on October 21st 1542, whilst Jonathon Heaton was registered as being a landowner in the island of Barbados, in 1680. He is believed to have been the first of the name in the New World. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Sir John de Heton. This was dated 1350, at the village known as Heaton under Horwick, in Lonsdale, Lancashire, during the reign of King Edward III of England, 1327 - 1377. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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