This is a very early English locational surname, and derives from the places called Lenton, one in Lincolnshire and the other in Nottinghamshire. The former is recorded as "Lavintone" in the Domesday Book of 1086 and means "Leofa's village" derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Leofa", meaning "dear, or beloved" and "tun", a settlement, or farm. Lenton in Nottinghamshire means "the village on the River Leen", the river name being derived from the root "lei" to flow. An interesting holder of the surname was John Leynton (1455 - 1505) who represented the Borough of Cambridge in the Parliaments of 1489 - 1490 and 1491 - 1492 during the reign of King Henry V11. He was the first Recorder of Cambridge in 1494. This same seat was later to be held by Oliver Cromwell in 1640. Other examples of the surname recordings include Alice Lenton, the daughter of Michael Lenton, christened at the church of St Mary Aldermanbury, London, on January 18th 1566, whilst in 1584 Arms were granted to the Lentons of Aldwinkle in Northants. These have the blazon of a silver field, a bend between two gold dolphins embowed. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gilbertus de Lenton, which was dated 1169, in the Pipe Rolls of Nottinghamshire, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as the Builder of Churches, 1154 - 1189. 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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