This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from the parish and village of Levington near Ipswich in Suffolk, or from the ancient barony of Levington, situated either in Cumberland or in the former Scottish county of Haddington. Recorded as "Leuetune" and "Leuentona" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as "Leuington" in 1254, the Suffolk place was so called from the Olde English pre 7th Century male given name "Leofa", from "leof", dear, beloved, with "tun", enclosure, settlement, presumably the component elements of the former barony also. Locational surnames, such as this, were originally given to local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. Regional and dialectal differences subsequently gave rise to several variations on the original spelling of the name which, in the modern idiom, is found as: Levington, Lewington and Lewinton. Sir Richard de Levington was recorded in Annandale, circa 1218, and John of Leuynton or Lewyntoun was alderman and provost of Edinburgh in 1423. John Lewinton, a Scottish merchant, had a safe conduct to travel in England in 1484, and on June 18th 1691, Elizabeth Lewinton and Philip Carpenter were married at St. James', London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Levingtona, which was dated 1194, witness in a "Calendar of Documents relating to Scotland", during the reign of King William "The Lion" of Scotland, 1165 - 1214. 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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