The surname of HOUSTON was of territorial origin from the barony of the name in Larnarkshire. The ancient family of Houston originally bore the name of Paduinan from a place of that name in Lanarkshire. In the reign of Malcolm IV, Baldwin de Bigre gave the lands of Kilpeter to Hugh de Paduinan, who appears as a witness to the foundation charter of the Abbey of Paisley, between 1165-73. Hugh's son, Reginald, obtained from Robert, son of Waldev, son of Baldwin de Bigre, a confirmation of the lands. Hugh, the son of Reginald again obtained a charter from the High Steward and became superior of the lands, wherein it held that his father and grandfather held the lands of Bigre. The barony now took its Saxon name Huston or Villa Hugonis, which is how the family took the name. This well known Scottish name is numerous in Ulster, where it is sometimes a synonym of MacQuiston, and in Donegal of MacTaghlin. Another record of the name mentions Thomas Houston and Elizabeth Ladd who were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1808. The rise of surnames, according to the accepted theory, was due to the Norman Conquest of 1066 when Old English personal-names were rapidly superseded by the new christian names introduced by the Normans. Of these, only a few were really popular and in the 12th century this scarcity of christian names led to the increasing use of surnames to distinguish the numerous individuals of the same name. Some Normans had hereditary surnames before they came to England, but there is evidence that surnames would have developed in England even had there been no Norman Conquest. The development of the feudal system made it essential that the king should know exactly what service each person owed. Payments to and by the exchequer required that debtors and creditors should be particularized, and it became official that each individual acquired exact identification. In 1836 the newly founded town of Houston, Texas, was named in honour of Sam Houston (1793-1836) soldier and statesman. His ancestors were Ulster Scots who had migrated to Philadelphia in the 18th century. As Commander in Chief of the Texan army he achieved Texan independence from Mexico by routing the army of Santa Ana.
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