This long-established surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is locational from one of two places thus called; Singleton, a parish in Sussex near Midhurst, and also a chapelry in the parish of Kirkham, in Lancashire. The former placename is entered as "Sengelton" in the 1185 Pipe Rolls of that county. The name derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "sengel" meaning "burnt clearing", plus "tun", a settlement; hence "the settlement in the burnt clearing". The Lancashire placename, spelt as "Syngelton" in early charters of that county dated 1190, derives its first element from the Olde English "scingel" meaning "shingle(s)"; hence, "a settlement on shingly soil". Locational surnames, such as this, were usually acquired by a local landowner, or by the lord of the manor, and especially by those former inhabitants of a place who had moved to another area, usually in search of work, and were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace. The Lancashire holders of this surname descend from the first recorded name bearer (see below). John Singleton, who embarked from London on the ship "Thomas and John" in June 1635, was an early settler into Virginia. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ughtred de Sinleton, which was dated circa 1190, a landholder in Amounderness, Lancashire, during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "Richard the Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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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