This interesting surname is an English variant of the Hebrew name "Yochanan", meaning "Jehovah has favoured (me with a son)", or "may Jehovah favour (this child)". The name was adopted into Latin as "Johannes", and has enjoyed enormous popularity in Europe throughout the Christian era, being given in honour of St. John the Baptist, precursor of Christ, and of St. John the Evangelist, author of the fourth gospel, as well as others of the nearly one thousand saints of the name. The personal name was first recorded as "Johannes" in circa 1140, and the surname was first recorded in the late 13th Century (see below). The modern surname can be found recorded as John, Jon, Jone, Ion and Ionn, and the patronymics include Johns, Johnson, Jonson and Ions. Recordings from English Church Registers include: the marriage of Thomas Ion and Jenetam Dudding on April 5th 1558, at South Cave, Yorkshire; the marriage of Lancelet Ion and Agnes Parnell on November 19th 1571, at St. Dunstan in the East, London; and the marriage of Robert Ion and Mary Best on April 23rd 1696, at Kirk Ella, Yorkshire. The christening was recorded in London of John, son of John and Mary Ion, on October 31st 1751, at St. Luke's, Old Street, Finsbury. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Ion, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire", 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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