Recorded as Wheaton, Weeton, Whetton, Wetton and probably others, this is an English surname. It is locational either from Wheaton Aston, a village north west of Brewood in Staffordshire, or from any of the various places in the north of England called Weeton or Wetton. Wheaton Aston, recorded as "Wetenaston" in the "Inquisitions post mortem" of 1248, has as its prefix the word "wheten", meaning wheat, and a derivative of "hwit", white, because of its use in making flour, with "tun", a farm or settlement. Weeton villages in Lancashire and the East and West Ridings of Yorkshire, and recorded Widetun and Witheton in the Domesday Book of 1086 for the above counties, all share the same meaning and derivation. This is Willow farm. Wetton in Staffordshire, recorded in 1327, has as a first element "weta", meaning wetlands or meadows. Locational surnames, such as this, were originally given to local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. Early examples of recordings include Thomas Wheaton and Elizabeth Tompson who were married at St. Botolph's, Bishopsgate, on October 20th 1561, and slightly earlier Agnes Whetton who married Thomas Jackson, at Loughborough, Leicestershire, on April 14th 1549. This was during the reign of King Edward V1th, and known as "The Boy King", 1547 - 1553. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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