This unusual and interesting name is of early Medieval origin and is a locational surname from one of the estimated seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets that have now disappeared from the maps in Britain. Enforced 'clearing' and dispersal of the former inhabitants to make way for sheep pastures in the 14th Century was a prime cause of these 'disappearances' along with natural causes such as the Black Death of 1348. The original place is believed to have been in the East Anglian area of England and the component elements are the Old English pre 7th Century 'Roege' meaning 'female roe deer' plus 'ton' 'settlement' and would therefore describe someone who lived in a place where female deer roamed.One John Raylton married Margaret Dauye at Thurlton, Norfolk on November 25th 1575. A Railton family in Fakenham, Norfolk, was granted a Coat of Arms which consisted of a silver shield on a blue bend or diagonal line with three golden acorns. William Railton, an architect, designed the Nelson memorial in Trafalgar Square London in 1839. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Railtoun, which was dated 1544, 'Burgess of Edinburgh', during the reign of King Henry V111, '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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