Recorded in several forms including Morten, Morton, Moorton, Mourton, Moreton, Mairtoun, and Mirton, this interesting surname can be either English, Scottish or Irish. In all cases it is a locational surname, and if Scottish it originates from the village of Morton in Dumfriesshire, of from Mryrton (now Morton) in Fife. If English, it is from any of over twenty such places called either Moreton or Morton in the various English counties such as Berkshire, Cheshire, Devonshire, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Northamptonshire, Shropshire and Staffordshire, and all variously recorded in the famous Domesday Book of 1086. If Irish, its antecedents are English, the nameholders being descendants of early settlers. However spelt all share the same basic meaning and derivation which is "The settlement by the moor", from the Olde English pre 7th Century word "mor", with "tun", a settlement or farm. Amongst the many recordings in the early surviving registers and charters are those of Hugh de Mortun, given as being the prior of May, in Scotland in the year 1204, Robert de Morton of Nottingham in the Hundred Rolls of 1273, and Master Thomas Mirton, who was chaplain to the king of Scotland in 1422. The first recorded spelling of the family name anywhere in the world is probably that of Robert de Mortone, which was dated 1130, in the "Pipe Rolls" of Wiltshire, during the reign of King Henry 1st of England, known as "The Lion of Justice", 1100 - 1135.
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