Recorded in various spellings including Swaton, Swatton, Swatten and Swayton, this is an English surname. It is locational from a place called Swaton, a parish and village near Sleaford in the county of Lincolnshire. The placename, recorded as "Suavintone" in the famous Domesday Book of 1086, is composed of the Old Scandinavian personal name "Swafa", with the Olde English pre 7th century word "tun", meaning a settlement or village, hence "Swafa's village". Locational names were originally given as a means of identification to those who left their village or place of origin to settle elsewhere, which may well have been the the next village. The early surviving church registers of Lincolnshire include examples such as Mychaell, the son of William Swaytone, who was christened on August 21st 1563 at Scotton, and Faith Swatton who married Edward Cuffin, at Kingerby on October 28th 1618. The earliest appearance of the surname in registers of the diocese of Greater London was on May 21st 1609, when Margaret Swayton married Thomas Begmond at All Hallows, London Wall. The first recorded spelling of the family name may be that of Margery Swaton. This was dated June 2nd 1563, at Horncastle, Lincolnshire, 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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