Recorded as Saunton, Santon, Santen, Santhune, Santune and possibly others, this is an English surname. It is locational and originates from either Saunton (Sands), a village in Devonshire or from any or possibly all, of four called Santon in Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Huntingdon and the Isle of Man. The name in all cases means the settlement by the sands or on sandy soil, and is first recorded as Santuna in the famous Domedsay Book of 1086 for the county of Norfolk. Locational surnames are usually "from" names. That is to say names given as easy identification to former inhabitants of a place who moved somewhere else. The except to this rule was when the nameholder was also the local lord of the manor as seems to have been the case with the first and possibly the second, recording. Here we have Payn de Santon in the Hundred Rolls of Norfolk in 1273, whilst Thomas de Santon of Lincoln, may also have held the same position, and at much the same period. Later recordings include that of Harvey de Santone, who was the patron of the living of Santon in the year 1315, in other words he had the right of appointment of the parish priest, whilst Margrett Santon was christened at St James Clerkenwell in the city of London, in 1628.
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