This is a medieval English habitational surname but of mixed English - Norse origins. It deives from the elements 'Spann' meaning 'shingle' and either 'Tun' a cultivated area, or 'Dun' a hill, as in the villages of Spaunton (North Yorkshire) or Spondun (Derbyshire), both of whom are recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book. The surname is however mainly concentrated in Yorkshire under the alternative spellings of Spanton, Sapauton and Sponton. The name recording and developments includes the following examples, Guilielmus Spaunton christened at Whitby on January 7th 1672 and married on June 20th 1718 at Hutton Bushel, York whilst James Sponton was christened at Stokesley Church, Yorkshire on October 9th 1676. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Elizabeth Spanton, which was dated November 25th 1578 who married Gilling, near Helmsley, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as 'Good Queen Bess', 1558 - 1603. 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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