This interesting and unusual name is of Medieval English origin and is a dialectal variant of a locational name yeat-on from a place so called in Shropshire. In the Subsidy Rolls of this county in 1327 the placename appears as "Eton" and is a derivation of the Old English pre 7th Century "Ea", meaning a river, and "tun", a farm, thus "the farm or homestead on the river, (in this case the river Perry). During the Middle Ages, when people began to migrate from their villages of birth to seek work elsewhere, they would often adopt the placename as a means of identification. Amongst the early recordings of christenings in London are, Launcellot Yatton, son of Henry Yatton, on April 15th 1573 and Margaret Yatton, the daughter of Edward Yatton on July 25th 1574, both at St. Dunstan's, Stepney. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Olief Yeaton (christening), which was dated November 23rd 1561, Ludlow, Shropshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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