This locational surname found in the modern spellings of Peyton, Paiton, and Payton, derives from the Essex village of Peyton, recorded as Pachenhou(!) in the 1086 Domesday Book, or the village of Peyton, previously recorded as "Peintuna" also in Domesday Book. The village names are believed to translate as "Pacca's Land" with Pacca being an Olde English pre 10th century personal name. Locational surnames derived either from the Lord of the Manor as shown in the first recording, or from some point in history when for whatever reason, the ancestors of the present nameholders, left their village. When this happened they were given as their identification, by their new "neighbours" the name of their former village. As few could spell, and as local dialects were often very pronounced, this invariably lead to a variety of spelling forms based upon "Sounds like". In this case early recordings include John de Payton of Essex in 1292, and Edmund Peyton of London in 1389. One of the earliest names into America was Henry Payton (also spelt Peyton) recorded in Virginia in 1624. This family had a unique distinction of not only holding a Coat of Arms granted both for England and America, but the arms are granted in both spellings of Payton and Peyton. The blazon of the arms is a black field charged with a gold engrailed cross. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Mathhew de Peytun, which was dated 1240, The Court of Fees for Colchester, Essex, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman" 1216 - 1272. 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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