The surname of WALTON was a locational name 'at the Walton'. There are twenty-five places so called throughout England, and the name seems to suggest a stead or dwelling built of stone. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. Most of the place-names that yield surnames are usually of small communities, villages, hamlets, some so insignificant that they are now lost to the map. A place-name, it is reasonable to suppose, was a useful surname only when a man moved from his place of origin to elsewhere, and his new neighbours bestowed it, or he himself adopted it. Between the 11th and 15th centuries it became customary for surnames to be assumed in Europe, but were not commonplace in England or Scotland before the Norman Conquest of 1066. They are to be found in the Domesday Book of 1086. Those of gentler blood assumed surnames at this time, but it was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) that second names became general practice for all people. 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 draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. Early records of the name mention Geoffrey Osmund de Waltona, 1189 County Somerset. Alicia de Walton, listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. William de Walton, 1415 Preston in Lancashire. Hugh Walton married Margaret Woulerrye at St. Thomas the Apostle in London in the year 1578. A notable member of the name was Sir William Turner Walton (1902-83) the English composer, born in Oldham. He received his earliest musical training as a cathedral chorister at Christ Church College, Oxford, before going to University in 1918, the year in which he wrote his major work, a piano quartet, which was performed at the Salzburg Festival in 1923. His later works included 'Troilus and Cressida' (1954) and 'The Bear' (1967). The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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