Recorded in the spellings of Whitten, Whitton, Witton, Wytone, and possibly others, this is an Anglo-Scottish surname. In England it is locational or possibly topographical from any of the places called Whitton or Witton, such as Whitton le Wear in County Durham, or Whitton in Northumberland, Lincolnshire and Suffolk, Witton in Lancashire and Yorkshire, and also Wyton in Yorkshire. The place name derives from the Olde English byname, Hwita meaning 'white', and 'tun', - a farm or enclosure, and was originally given to those dwelt at such a place. The Scottish name holders also have locational origins of the same meaning, and derive their name from an area known as "The lands of Whitton", in the parish of Morebattle, Roxburghshire. Over the centuries the name has been recorded in many forms including examples such as Thomas de Wytin of Nottinghamshire in the Hundred Rolls of 1273, and Johannes de Wytton in the Poll Tax rolls of Yorkshire in the year 1379. Later examples are those of Elenor Whitton at the church of St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on June 28th 1578, and Ambrose Whitten at St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on August 19th 1705. The first recorded spelling of the family name may be that of Magister Robert de Wytton. This was dated 1285 when he witnessed a charter by John, the Prior of St. Andrews in Scotland, during the reign of King Alexander 111rd, 1248-1286. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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