Recorded in a wide variety of spellings including Smoughton, Smouton, Smotten, Smowton, Smougton, and Smoton, and particularly recorded in the county of Norfolk, this is an English surname. It is clearly locational and originates from a place called possibly 'Smoughton', but more logically as no such place is known in any of the gazetters of the past five hundred years, perhaps Smeaton in North Yorkshire or Smeetham in Essex. Both have the meaning of 'The smiths house', from the pre 7th century Olde English 'smit tun'.However where 'lost' villages are concerned, as may well be the case here, other explanations are always possible. It is known that at least three thousand surnames of the British Isles do originate from 'lost' medieval villages, of which the only public reminder in the later 20th century is usually the surname itself, recorded as with this one, in many forms. Early examples of the surname recordings taken from surviving church registers of the county of Norfolk include Martha Smouton, who married John Chapman at St Edmunds church, Caister, on June 26th 1715, and Stephen Smowton, who married Amey Clark at St George Tombland, in the city of Norwich, on June 13th 1725.
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