This interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from Paulton in Somerset. The placename was recorded as "Palton" in the 1171 Pipe Rolls, and as "Pealton" in the 1194 Pipe Rolls, and derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "peall", ledge (corresponding to the Old Norse "pallr", raised place, footstool, terrace), with "tun", village, town, homestead; hence "homestead by the ledge". Paulton is situated high up on a hill slope. During the Middle Ages when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was becoming more common, people often took their former village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. Recordings of the surname from English Church Registers include: the marriage of Roger Paulton and Jane Lydiard on May 3rd 1618 at Urchfont, Wiltshire; the christening of Ann, daughter of Edmund and Katherine Paulton, on January 15th 1628 at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London; and the marriage of Elizabeth Paulton and John Snooke on October 3rd 1652 at St. Bartholomew the Less, London. A notable namebearer, Abraham Walter Paulton (1812 - 1876), was a politician and journalist. He lectured for the Anti-Cornlaw League, and edited its journal until the repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846. He conducted the "Manchester Examiner and Times" (1848 - 1854). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Sibille Pyltone, which was dated February 20th 1542, christened at St. Stephen's, Coleman Street, London, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Good King Hal", 1509 - 1547. 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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