Recorded as Litton and Lytton, this is a famous English locational surname. It originates from any or all of the various villages called Litton in the counties of Derbyshire, Dorset, and West Yorkshire or Litton in Somerset formerly recorded as Hlytton in the famous Domesday Book of 1086 and later for a short time in the medieval period as Lytton, from which presumably the surname spelling as Lytton was derived. We have to say "presumably" because over the centuries the name spelling as Litton or Lytton seems to have been interchangeable, as spelling fashions changed. In fact all the villages at various times were also spelt as Litun or Litune, although if this form became a surname it does not seem to have survived. The place name and hence the surname translates as "The place on a torrent," a reference to a "hylide"or fast flowing stream, although there is some suggestion that the place in Yorkshire may describe an ancient and perhaps Roman burial ground. The earliest recordings all refer to landowners. These include Gamel de Litton in the early Yorkshire Charters register of 1175, Thomas de Lytton of Derbyshire in the Hundred Rolls of landowners of that county in 1273, and Thomas Lytton of Essex recorded in the tax records known as "The Feet of Fines" for that county, in the year 1403.
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