The surname of DAYTON was a locational name 'of Deighton' a chapelry in the parish of Northallerton, in the North Riding of Yorkshire. A township in the parish of Escrick, in the East Riding of Yorkshire and Kirk Deighton, a parish in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land. Early records of the name mention Robert de Dighton, Freeman of York, during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). Petrus de Dighton, of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Gabriel Cooper and Elizabeth Deighton were married at St. Jame's, Clerkenwell, London in the year 1717. James Cadenhead married Joanna Deighton at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1803. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour. 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according to the accepted theory, was due to the Norman Conquest of 1066 when Old English personal-names were rapidly superseded by the new christian names introduced by the Normans.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. The associated arms are recorded in Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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