Recorded as Setterington, Settrington, Seterington, Sitlinton, but originally in the surviving church registers of the city of London, only as Sitlington, this is a locational surname. It originates from the village of Settrington, near Malton, in North Yorkshire, of which the usual surname spelling is Setterington. This place name means 'The people (-ing) at the village (-ton) of the dike' from the pre 7th century Olde English word 'seohtr', meaning defensive ditch or dike. Locational surnames were usually 'from' names. That is to say names given to people as easy identification after they left their original homes, to move somewhere else. To call people after their village was simple, but given the spelling was at best indifferent, and local accents very thick, the further a person moved, the more likely it was that the spelling would be distorted, sometimes to the point of where the basic form was lost. In this case the earliest recording that we have is that of Robert de Seterington of York in the Hundred Rolls of 1273, and in London that of Diana Sitlington at St Georges chapel, Mayfair, on November 19th 1747.
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