This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is locational from Langthorne, a place two miles north-west of Bedale, in the North Riding of Yorkshire, which was recorded as "Langetorp" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as "Langethorn" in 1246, in the Feet of Fines Records of Yorkshire. The placename is composed of the Olde English pre 7th Century element "lang", long, a common first element in place names, referring "to the length of a piece of land", or as in this case, "the height of a tree", and the second element "thorn", a "thorn-bush", another prominent placename element; hence, the "tall thorn-bush", possibly referring to some feature by the settlement itself. The surname first appears in Yorkshire Church Registers on July 28th 1590, when Margaret, daughter of John Langthorn, was baptised at Howden. Recordings from English Church Registers include: Robert Longthorne, who was a witness at the christening of his son on August 1st 1600, at Walton in Ainsty, Yorkshire; the christening of Steven, son of Steven Longthorne, at Walton in Ainsty, Yorkshire, on December 26th 1605; the christening of John Langthorne at St. Mary Whitechapel, London, on September 20th 1626; and the christening of James Lengthorn at St. Peter's, Leeds, Yorkshire, on December 25th 1788. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Anne Langthorn, which was dated March 5th 1586, christened at St. John's, Hackney, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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