This unusual name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from either of the places called 'Thistleton' in Lancashire and near Oakham in the former county of Rutland. The place in Lancashire is recorded in the Fees Court Rolls of the county, of 1212, as 'Thistilton', and the place in Rutland appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Tisteltune'. Both places share the same meaning and derivation, which is 'the settlement where thistles grew', or 'where thistles abounded', derived from the Old English pre 7th Century 'thistel', thistle and 'tun', settlement, enclosure. Locational surnames were acquired mostly by those former inhabitants of a place who had moved to another area, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. The modern surname can be found as Thistleton and Thiselton. Records of Lancashire Wills of 1622 show the will of one John Thistleton, of Woodplumpton, 'husbandman'. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Symon de Thistelton, which was dated 1250, The Lincolnshire Feet of Fines, during the reign of King Henry 111, 'The Frenchman', 1216-1272. 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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