This is a locational surname recorded in the spellings of Paxton and the rare dialectal Pexton. It originates from the village of Paxton in Huntingdon,a place first recorded as Pachstone in the 1086 Domesday Book, and later in 1163 as Paxton Magna. The name derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th century, and probably describes a man called "Pacca" who lived at his farm (ton). There is an alternative suggestion that the name may derive from the words "poecces tun" or peaceful farm, and either are logical and possible. Certainly the surname is an early recording, Thomas de Paxton being found in the Hundred Rolls of Huntingdon in 1273, whilst in 1550 John Paxton married Gertrude Mylborn in London. Amongst the interesting name bearers was James Paxton, the famous surgeon, and Sir Joseph Paxton (1801-1865), superintendent of the gardens at Chatsworth House, Derbyshire from 1826, and intimate friend of the Duke of Devonshire whom he accompanied on his European travels between 1838 and 1840. He designed the Great Exhibition of 1851, for which he was knighted. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Azelin du Paxtun, which was dated 1180, in the Pipe Rolls of the city of Leicester. This was during the reign of King Henry ll, known as "The Builder of Churches" 1154 - 1189. 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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