This unusual surname is a variant of the more widely found Pendleton, itself a locational name from either of two places in Lancashire thus called, the one under Pendle Hill in the Whalley parish (north east Lancashire), and the other near Salford in the south east of the county. The former place was recorded as "Peniltune" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and the latter as "Penelton" and "Penhulton" in the Lancastrian Pipe Rolls, dated 1200; both places share the same meaning and derivation, that is, "settlement by Pendle Hill", from a British element "penn", hill, head, with a tautologous Olde English pre 7th Century "hyll", hill, and the Olde English "tun", enclosure, settlement. Locational surnames, such as this, were originally given to local landowners, the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. Regional and dialectal differences subsequently produced several variations on the original spelling of the name which, in the modern idiom, is found as Pendleton, Pendylton, Pendlenton, Pendlington and Penlington. On June 4th 1549, Alice Pendleton, an infant, was christened at Middleton by Oldham, Lancashire, and on March 7th 1562, Robart Penlington was christened at Rotherham, Yorkshire. The Coat of Arms most associated with the name is an azure shield with a silver chief, and three golden garbs on a red fess, the Crest being a black lion's paw holding a gold battle axe. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas de Penelton, which was dated 1379 in the "Poll Tax Returns Records of Lancashire", during the reign of King Richard 11, known as "Richard of Bordeaux", 1377 - 1399. 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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