This very rare and unusual surname is a variant of Orleton, which is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is locational from places so called in Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire. The places in Worcestershire and Herefordshire are derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century "alor", alder, and the Olde English "tun", enclosure, settlement, hence "enclosure of alder trees". The place in Shropshire is derived from the Olde English "eorla", earls, and "tun", as before, and means "settlement of the earls". The place in Worcestershire was first recorded as "Ealretun" in the Saxon Diplomatic Code of 738, and as "Alretune" in the Domesday Book of 1086; the place in Herefordshire was first recorded as "Alretune" in the Domesday Book, and as "Alretun" in the Book of Fees of 1242; and the place in Shropshire was first recorded as "Erleton" in the "Antiquities of Shropshire", circa 1150. Recorded in English Church Registers are the marriages of Anne Orlton and James Hughs, on May 31st 1681 at Kington, Herefordshire, and of Ann Orlton and Thomas Matthews, on February 3rd 1732 at Stow, Shropshire. A Coat of Arms granted to the family (Shropshire) depicts on a silver field a bend double cotised black, in chief a black martlet. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Elizabeth Orlton, which was dated February 16th 1579, marriage to John Rowlon, at Onibury, Shropshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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