This is an English locational surname, which originates from any one of the three hamlets so named, or possibly from a now "lost" medieval village in Yorkshire. The surviving hamlets are to be found in the counties of Dorset, near Dorchester, in the parish of Lindridge, Worcestershire, and the parish of St Margarets, Leicester. The first recordings though are to be found in Yorkshire, where even in the 20th century the name is well recorded in that county.Locational surnames by their very nature, were usually given in the first instance, either to the lord of the manor and his descendants, or to villagers who for whatever reason, left their original homestead and moved to another place. This could be the next village, but in England was often London. Which ever was chosen, it was then, and it remains so even oin the 20th century, that the easiest way to identify a "stranger" may be to call him or her by the name of the place from whence they came. Spelling being at best problematical, and local dialects very thick, often lead to some unusual developments of the surname. In this case early recordings include such examples as Margaret Knyghton, who married John Alen at St Brides church, Fleet Street, London, in the year 1544, and later George Knighton and Susan White who applied for a marriage license, also in London in 1583 - 84. The first known recording of the name is believed to be that of Thomas de Kynghton, in the 1379 Poll Tax Rolls of the county of Yorkshire. This was in the reign of King Richard 11, 1377 - 1399.
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