This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from any of the various places in England and Scotland named with the Olde English pre 7th Century "smethe, smeotha", the genitive plural of "smith", smith, and "tun", enclosure, settlement, village; hence, "the smiths' enclosure". These places include: Great, Little and Kirk Smeaton in the North Riding of Yorkshire, recorded respectively as "Smithatun" in the Saxon Chartulary, dated 966, and as "Smidetune" and "Smedetone" in the Domesday Book of 1086; Smeeton Westerby, near Market Harborough in Leicestershire; and the lands of Smytheton, now Smeaton, near Musselburgh in Midlothian. Locational surnames, such as this, were originally given to local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. Early examples of the name include: Henry de Smithetone "of the county of Edneburk" (Scotland, 1296); Robert de Smytheton (York, 1340); and John Smeton (Yorkshire, 1379). In the modern idiom the name is variously spelt: Smeaton, Sme(e)ton, Smieton, Smitton and Smitten. On May 14th 1676, Mary, daughter of Thomas and Susann Smitten, was christened at St. Giles' Cripplegate, London. A Coat of Arms granted to the Smitten family is a silver shield with a red fess between three boars' heads couped sable. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Johel de Smetheton, which was dated 1201, in "Please before the King or his Justices", Yorkshire, during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017