This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from a place called Leighterton in Gloucestershire, deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century "leahtric" meaning lettuce, plus "dun", hill, hence "hill where lettuce grew". The placename is recorded as "Lettrintone", "Letthrintone" (1140), "Lettrentone" (1215), and "Lechtintone" (1221) in the Assize Court Rolls of Gloucestershire. During the Middle Ages when it was increasingly common for people to migrate from their birthplace to seek work further afield, the custom developed that they would adopt the placename as a means of identification. Variations in the spelling of the surname include Lidgerton, Legerton, and Ligerton. Church Records list the christenings of Anna, daughter of Henrie Legerton, on May 30th 1725, at St. Peter Bilton in Hoderness, Yorkshire, and of Ralph, son of Ralph and Susanna Ledgerton, on February 16th 1777, at St. Olave's, Southwark, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Georgii Legerton, which was dated May 7th 1643, witnessed the christening of his daughter Willus, at St. Peter's, Sheffield, Yorkshire, during the reign of King Charles 1, known as "The Martyr", 1625 - 1649. 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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