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Gauton Coat of Arms / Gauton Family Crest

The surname of GAUTON was a baptismal name 'the son of Walter'. This personal name was introduced into England in the reign of the Confessor - the name meaning mighty army. The name was also spelt GATTON. The name was originally rendered in the Old English form GATETUNA, literally meaning the dweller at the place where goats were kept. The earliest of the name on record appears to be GATONE (without surname) who was listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086. Surnames derived from placenames are divided into two broad categories; topographic names and habitation names. Topographic names are derived from general descriptive references to someone who lived near a physical feature such as an oak tree, a hill, a stream or a church. Habitation names are derived from pre-existing names denoting towns, villages and farmsteads. Other classes of local names include those derived from the names of rivers, individual houses with signs on them, regions and whole countries. Later records of the name include Hamo de GATTUNE, who was documented in 1273, County Kent, and Robert de GAUTON appears in Sussex in 1279. Alicia de GATTON of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe. Later instances of the name mention Thomas Gill and Elizabeth GATTON, who were married in London in 1591 (no church given), and Francis GATTON and Susanna Smith were wed at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in the year 1669. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error.

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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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