This surname of English and Scottish origin, is a locational name from any of the various places, notably Smeaton near Edinburgh and in North and West Yorkshire, or Smeeton in Leicestershire, deriving from the Old English pre 7th Century 'smioa' meaning 'smiths' plus 'tun' 'settlement' hence 'settlement of the smiths'. The name dates back to the late 13th Century, (see below). Further recordings include one Henricus de Smeithtone juror on an inquisition at Muskylburg, Edinburgh in 1359. John Smeton (1379) 'The Poll Tax Records of Yorkshire'. Variations in the idiom of the spelling include Smeeton, Smieton, Smetoun, Smittoune, etc.. One William Smeyton married Agnes Newton on August 31st 1550 at St. Matthew, Friday Street, London, and William, son of Thomas and Joan Smeeton, was christened on December 29th 1653 at St. Margaret, Westminster. One John Smeaton (1724 - 1792) a civil engineer, constructed Eddystone Lighthouse in 1756 and he founded Smeatonian Club in 1771. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry de Smithetone, which was dated 1296, County of Edinburgh, during the reign of King Robert, 'The Bruce', 1225 - 1329. 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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