Recorded in many spellings including Hofton, Houghton, Hoghton, de Hoghton, Howton, Hogton, Hufton, and others, this is an English medieval surname. It is locational from any or perhaps all of the twenty eight places now called Houghton, or possibly for some name holders, the village of Hoftens Green in Staffordshire. These villages have been recorded in the gazetters of England from about the 15th century, with some dating from Domesday Book of 1066. These place names are recorded with or without suffix, and give rise to examples such as Houghton Conquest and Houghton Regis in the county of Bedfordshire, Houghton le Spring in County Durham, Houghton on the Hill, in Leicestershire, and Houghton in East Yorkshire.The derivation in almost all cases is from the Olde English pre 7th century word "hoh" meaning a ridge or spur of a hill, and "tun", a farm or settlement. "Hough" was pronounced "Huff" in many regions and this gave rise to the various spelling transpositions. Locational surnames are usually "from" names. That is to say names given to people after they left their original homesteads to move somewhere else. The easiest way to identify such stranger was to call them by the name of the place from whence they came,. Spelling over the centuries being at best erratic, and local dialects very thick, gave rise to the different surname spellings. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Hohton. This was dated 1208 in the Pipe Rolls of the county of Sussex, during the reign of King John of England, 1199 - 1216. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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