This is an English habitation name from a village in Lancashire, first recorded in 1212 in the Book of Fees from Lancashire as Turton and later appearing in the Charter Rolls in 1257 as 'Thurton'. The latter spelling shows the derivation of the name as being from the Olde Norse pre 7th Century 'tun', meaning enclosure or settlement, so the use of such a surname would indicate someone who lived there (in Thori's 'town') or who used to live there and moved to a different village or town. William Turton (1762 - 1835) was a much respected conchologist and scholar of natural history. His chief work 'A Conchological Dictionary of the British Islands' was published in 1819. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Sir Henry Turton, which was dated 1523, in the Wills at Chester, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as Bluff King Hal, 1509 - 1547. 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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