This interesting surname is of Olde English locational origin, and is one of a wide range of dialectal spellings. It derives originally from one of the various places called Layton, Leighton and Leyton. These include Layton, east of Blackpool in Lancashire, recorded as 'Latun' in the Domesday Book of 1086, and East and West Layton in the North Riding of Yorkshire, Leyton in Essex etc. The former place was so called from the Old English pre 7th Century "lad", a water-course or conduit, plus "tun", a settlement, homestead, or in medieval times - a town. The latter three places, recorded as 'Lastun' in the Domesday Book, and as 'Laton' in the 1199 Pipe Rolls derive their name from the Old English "leac", meaning vegatables or leeks, plus "tun", which in hois instance must describe a farm or small holding. The places called 'Leighton' in Bedfordshire, Shropshire Lancashire etc., are also derived from the Old English "leac-tun" and the surnames also derive from these places. Early examples of the surname recording include Richard de Layton in the 1292 "Pipe Rolls of Cumberland", whilst Richard Layton became dean of York in 1534. He was later appointed ambassador to Brussels in 1543 by King Henry V111. The ancient coat of arms from the time of King Henry 111 (1216 - 1272), has the blazon of a black field charghed with three red escallops on a silver bend. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Lecton, which was dated 1201, "The Pipe Rolls of Shropshire", during the reign of King John known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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