Recorded as Soughton, Souten, Souton, Sowten and probably others, this is an English locational surname. It is generally a dialectal spelling of Sutton, a popular locational name. The place name however spelt, is derived from the pre 7th century elements "sueth", meaning south, and "-tun", a village or settlement. It indicates a village to the south of the main local centre. Sutton village in Bedfordshire is recorded as "Sudtone" in the Domesday Book of 1086, while Sutton Scarsdale in Derbyshire is recorded as "Suethtun" in the Wills record of Derbyshire in the year 1102. Sutton itself is first recorded as a surname in the Domesday Book (see below), and Alnod Suttuna is listed in the "Inquisitions of Ely" of 1086 in Cambridge. Early examples of the surname development are taken from surviving church registers of Greater London. They include the marriage of Robart Sowthen to Mary Copland on May 18th 1551, at Christ Church, Greyfriars, Newgate; the christening of William, son of William and Elizabeth Soughton, on March 5th 1682, at St. Martin's Outwich, and the marriage of Elizabeth Souten to William Swan on March 11th 1787, at St. Mary-le-bone. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ketel de Sudtone. This was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book of Lincolnshire, during the reign of King William 1st, known as "The Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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