This interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname from any one of the numerous places called "Moreton or Morton" in the various English counties such as Berkshire, Cheshire, Devonshire, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Northamptonshire, Shropshire and Staffordshire. These places are variously recorded in the famous Domesday Book of 1086 as Mortone and Mortune. However spelt all share the same meaning and derivation which is "the settlement by the fen, or moor", derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century word "mor", marsh, fen, moor with "tun", settlement or enclosure. The modern surname can be found recorded as Moreton, a spelling of some popularity in Ireland, Moorton, Mourton, and the more usual Morton. Among the many recordings in the early surviving registers and charters are those of Robert de Morton of Nottingham in 1273, and Hugh de Morteyn of Bedford, in the same year. 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 1, known as "The Lion of Justice", 1100 - 1135. 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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