Recorded in the spellings of Linten, Lintin, Linton, Lynton, and several other forms, this is an English and Scottish locational surname. It originates from any of the places called Linton or Linten in Cambridgeshire, Derbyshire, Herefordshire, Devon, Kent, Yorkshire and Northumberland, or from three places in Scotland in Peebleshire, Roxburghshire and East Lothian. The name is a compound of two elements, the second element, in all cases, derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "tun", meaning a farm or settlement, and in medieval times - a town. The first element may be from either the Olde English "lind", meaning a lime tree, or "lin", meaning a place where flax was grown. The village of Linton in Northumberland has a different meaning being named from the River Lyne on which it is situated. Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. Early examples of the surname recording include Richard de Linton in the 1273 Hundred Rolls of London, Laurencius de Lynton of Linton, Yorkshire, and William Lintin, of Greasbrough, Yorkshire, on October 29th 1797. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Garel de Linton, which was dated circa 1160, in the rolls of the Priory of St. Andrews, Scotland, during the reign of King Malcolm 1V of Scotland, 1153 - 1165. 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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