This ancient Anglo-Scottish surname recorded in several spellings including Lintern, Linton, Lintin, Lintrom, Lintun, Linturn, and Lynton, is of pre 7th century origins, and is locational. It derives from the place name "Linton" found in several parts of the British Isles. Examples include Linton in Cambridgeshire, Derbyshire, Herefordshire, Devon, Kent, Yorkshire and Northumberland, or from three places in Scotland, being West Linton in Peebles; Linton parish in Roxburghshire; and finally East Linton, in Prestonkirk, East Lothian. The second element of the name 'ton', in all cases, derives from the Olde English "tun", meaning a farm or settlement. The first element has several meanings. It may be from the Olde English "lind", meaning a lime tree, or from "lin", implying a place where flax was grown. Linton in Northumberland is quite different, being named from the River Lyne (from "lei", to flaw), on which the village 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 recordings include Richard de Linton in the 1273 Hundred Rolls of London, and William de Lynton of Worcester in the same year. Laurencius de Lynton, of Linton in Yorkshire, was recorded in the 1379 Poll Tax rolls of the county.The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gamel de Lintun, a charter witness, which was dated 1160, in the "Cartulary 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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