Recorded in several spellings including Lathan, Layton, Latane, Latan, Laten, Latin, Lattin, Letten, and others, this is an English surname. It is locational from either the village of Lathom in Lancashire or the two Layton in North Yorkshire and Lancashire. It is easy to see how the surname derivations arise as Lathom is first recorded as Latune in the famous Domesday Book of 1086, is from pre 7th centure Norse-Viking 'hlaetha', meaning a barn. Layton in Yorkshire appears in the Domesday Book as Latton, from the Old English 'leac-tuna', or the leek farm, whilst Layton in Lancashire is recorded as Latun on the Domesday Book of 1086, and translates as the farm by the water course. Recordings of the surname taken from surviving church registers include Dorothie Latan who married Arthur Lowe at St Dunstans Stepney, East London, on October 20th 1622, Elizabeth Lattin who married Thomas Browne at St Bartholomew the Less, in the city of London, on February 17th 1668, and Christopher Letten who married Sarah Carrell at St Dunstans, Stepney, on December 9th 1697. An early recording is that of Henry Lathan. This is dated October 3rd 1574, at Ormskirk in Lancashire. and during the reign of Queen Elizabeth Ist. She was known as Good Queen Bess, 1558 - 1603. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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