Recorded in the spellings of Walton and Wolton, this surname is of Olde English pre 7th Century habitational origins. It derives from either one of the various parishes called Walton, or from a "lost" medieval village somewhere in the south east of the country and called "Wolton", or from a topographical site with the suffix "tun" meaning a farm or hamlet plus one of the prefixes "wald" (a wood), or "walh", a farm worker or "walesc" - a foreigner. The latter is most interesting as it probably refers to somebody from the next village, although it could also mean a Saxon, Viking or even a Norman. The name may also derive from "weall-tun" which means a building of stone, a rare form in the pre Norman period before 1066. The early nameholders include such examples as Robertus de Woltan of the county of Kent, in 1274, and Izaak Walton (1593 - 1683), author and Royalist. Valentine Walton (1620 - 1661) was a son-in-law of Oliver Cromwell, and a signatory of the death warrant of King Charles 1st in 1649, whilst George Walton (1741 - 1804) was in 1776 a signatory of the American "Declaration of Independence". His grandfather had emigrated from England in 1682, although a John Walton is recorded in Virginia in 1623, one of the earliest of all settlers. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Odo de Wolton, of the county of Oxford. This was dated 1273, in the register known as "The Hundred Rolls", during the reign of King Edward 1st, 1272 - 1307. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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