This name AUGHTON first appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as ACTONE. It was of the locational group of surnames meaning 'one who came from the place of the name, a spot in Lancashire near Ormskirk. The names of habitation, which are the largest group, usually denoted where the original bearer of the name held and perhaps owned his land. These local surnames derive (with a few occasional exceptions) from English, Scottish or French places, and were originally preceded by a preposition such as 'atte' or 'bye'. The earliest local surnames of French origin are chiefly from Normandy, particularly from the departments of Calvados, Eure, Seine-Inferieure and La Manche, although some Frenchmen, arriving in England early acquired surnames from English places. Local names may derive from the manor held, the place of residence, and occasionally from a sign like an Inn or Tavern, or a particularly unusual shape of rock, hill, tree, stream or river. Other records of the name mention ACTON (without surname) who was documented in Lancashire in the year 1235, and AGHTON (without surname) appears in Ormskirk, Lancashire in 1330. Aghton (without surname) was documented in Lancashire in 1335. Thomas Aughton of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379, and Edward Aughton appears in Yorkshire in the year 1458. The rise of surnames, according to the accepted theory, was due to the Norman Conquest of 1066. It is often assumed that men 'adopted' their surnames. Some certainly did, but the individual himself had no need for a label to distinguish him from his fellows. The development of the feudal system made it essential that the king should know exactly what service each knight owed. Payments to and by the exchequer required that debtors and creditors should be particularized. Monasteries drew up surveys and extents with details of tenants of all classes in their services. Any description which identified the man was satisfactory, his father's name, the name of his land, or a nickname known to be his. The upper classes mostly illiterate, were those with whom the officials were chiefly concerned and among them surnames first became numerous and hereditary.
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