This famous surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name deriving from any one of the numerous places called Milton. Most of these places, with examples in at least fourteen counties, are recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Middeltone", and mean "the middle settlement", derived from the Old English pre 7th Century "middel", middle, with "tun", enclosure, settlement. The remainder, a smaller group with examples in Kent, Northamptonshire and Staffordshire, among other counties, mean "the settlement at the mill", from the Old English pre 7th Century "mylen", mill, with "tun" as before.These places are recorded in the Domesday Book variously as "Meletune", "Meletone" and "Miletune". Probably the most notable bearer of the name was the poet John Milton (1608 - 1674), author of the epic poems "Paradise Lost" and "Paradise Regained", and of the verse drama "Samson Agonistes". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alan de Milton, which was dated 1235, The Oxfordshire Feet of Fines, during the reign of King Henry 111, "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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