There is quite a mystery as to how this English surname came into being. Recorded in the modern spellings of Spalton and Spolton, it is clearly locational, although no such place seems to have been recorded in any other known gazetters of the past five centuries. The late Professor Reaney in his 'Dictionary of British Surnames' suggests that it is a Yorkshire development of the Lincolnshire place name 'Spalding.' This town name translates as 'The place (ton) of the Spalda people', the latter being an early Anglo-Saxon tribe who migrated from Germany in the 7th centuury a.d..Spalda originates from the word 'spaldan' meaning to cleave, and hence would be quite an appropriate name for invaders! That the name was originally Spalding or Spaulding appears to have given rise to the name Spaldon. The suggestion is that the Spaltons were originally Spaldons or Spaldings, and if so that the family name commences with Robert Spalding of Holderness., Yorkshire, in1569. Anything is possible with surnames except that in the this case we have the recording of Elizabeth Spallton, and dated 1599, when she was christened at Clapham in Yorkshire. On the assumption that her parents were also called Spalton, this would seem to suggest that the name may have been in Yorkshire for sometime and even before Spalding, and hence had a separate development possibly from a 'lost' medieval village in the Yorkshire area. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop," often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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