Recorded in the spellings of Shenton, Shinton, and probably Shenston and Shenstone, this is an English locational surname. It derives from any one of the various places called Shenton in the counties of Leicester, Hertford, and in medieval times, Cheshire, or from Shenstone in the county of Staffordshire. These places all have Old English pre 7th century origins, the first recording being that of "Scenctum" in the Anglo-Saxon charters for Leicester in the year 710 a.d.. The name meaning is probably the hamlet (ton) by the bright stream (scen), although other interpretations are possible.Locational surnames were granted either in the first place to the local lord of the manor, or more usually they were given to people after they left their original homeland.It was then, and it remains today, that often the easiest method of identifying a person, is to call him or her by the name of the place from whence they came. In this case the earliest recordings to be found in church registers are 16th century, and examples include Susanna Shenton of Croft, Leicestershire, christened there on May 11th 1587, and later Sara Shinton, who married John Robertson at St Giles church, Cripplegate, London, on August 23rd 1772. The first known example of the surname recording is believed to be that of Margaret Shenton, who was a witness at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, London, on June 29th 1584. This was during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st, 1558 - 1603.
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