This uncommon name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving either from places called Penton in Hampshire or as a variant form of the name from Panton in Lincolnshire. The places in Hampshire, now called Penton Grafton (or Weyhill) and Penton Mewsey, are both recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Penitone"; the name is derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century "pening", penny, with "tun", enclosure, settlement, referring to a settlement that had to pay a penny land tax, the geld.The placename Pennington (Hampshire and Lancashire) has the same meaning. Panton in Lincolnshire is recorded in Domesday as "Pantone", and is so called from the Olde English "pamp", hill, ridge, with "tun", as before. Locational surnames were acquired by the lord of the manor, and local landowners, and especially by those former inhabitants of a place who settled in another area, and used the name of their birthplace as a means of identification. Recordings of the name from Church Registers include: the marriage of Johannes Penton and Maria Laurence at St. Andrew's, Norwich, Norfolk, on November 3rd 1563, and the christening of Alice Penton, on March 7th 1571, in Romsey, Hampshire. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is per chevron red and gold, in chief two silver castles, in base a blue lion rampant. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Agnes Penton, which was dated July 10th 1547, marriage to Robert Hamond, at Scarning, Norfolk, during the reign of King Edward V1, known as "The Boy King", 1547 - 1553. 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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