This interesting name is a variant form of the more familiar surname "Lawton", which is locational in origin, deriving from Buglawton or Churchlawton in Cheshire, appearing simply as Lawton in early records. There is also a Lawton in Herefordshire mentioned in the Domesday Book (1086) as Lautone. The word Lawton derives from two old pre 7th Century English words "hlaw", meaning a low hill or mound and "tun", an enclosure or settlement, hence referring to a habitation on or near a hill. Such a low hill was often either a burial mound or a meeting place. The earliest occurrence of the surname was at the beginning of the 13th Century (see below). In the Assize Rolls for Cheshire a Philip de Lauton was mentioned in 1281. One Jane Loton was christened on December 10th 1575 at St. Botolph's, Bishopsgate, in London, and the marriage of William Loton and Dorothie Williams was recorded at St. Dunstan's Stepney, on February 11th 1620. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam de Lauton, which was dated 1205, The Pipe Rolls of Lancashire, during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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