This long-established name is of Anglo-Saxon and Old Scandinavian origin, and is a locational surname deriving from any of various places called Melton, for example in Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk and East and West Yorkshire. These places are mostly recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Medeltone" or "Meltuna", and all share the same meaning and derivation, which is "the middle settlement", from, initially, the Olde English pre 7th Century "middel", middle (referring to the situation of a place between two other places), and "tun", settlement, enclosure. The Olde English "middel" was later replaced by the Old Norse "methal, medal" under Scandinavian influence. Locational surnames were acquired by the lord of the manor, and local landowners, and were used particularly as a means of identification by those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. Among the recordings of the name from various Church Registers are those of the christening of John Melton in Huggate, Yorkshire, on November 15th 1539, and the marriage of Thomas Melton and Agnes Barkworth on July 1st 1571, at Tattershall in Lincolnshire. One Henry Melton was an early emigrant to the new American Colonies, leaving London on the "David" in September 1635, bound for Virginia. One of the Coats of Arms granted to the family depicts a silver cross patonce surmounted by another, blue, between four gold cinquefoils, on a blue shield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de Melton, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Norfolk", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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