This ancient surname of WIGTON was of the locational group of surnames meaning 'one who came from WIGHTON' a spot in County Norfolk, or from WIGTON in Cumberland. Other spellings of the name include WIGSTON, WIGESTON, WHIGSTON and WIGGINTON. The name was brought into England by early settlers from Scandinavia in the form WIC-TUN, literally meaning the dweller at the manor. A manor, during the middle ages, may have had two or three hundred people living there, most of whom worked in various parts of the manor to produce their food. The manor would be owned by the king or an important noble, or by a religious house or even a freeman. The tenants would have been of three kinds, the freeholders who worked substantial land for which they paid a money rent which freed them of most, but not all, services to the lord, the villeins or serfs who cultivated about thirty acres for which they worked for the lord two or three days a week, and the cotters who held smaller plots and worked shorter periods for the lord of the manor. In the centre of the manor would be the hall, the principal residence of the lord of the manor and the church would be nearby. Around these two important buildings would be crude houses or cottages of the inhabitants. As overseers usually enjoyed a higher rank, these occupations first appeared recorded in official documents, and tended to become hereditary family names which have continued to this day. The earliest of the name on record appears to be WISTUNE (without surname) who was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086, and WICHTON (without surname) was recorded in the year 1130. WICTON (without surname) was documented in Norfolk in the year 1212, and WIGETON appears in Cumberland in 1262. The Scandinavian element in English place names is very considerable. It is an outcome of the extensive Scandinavian settlements made in England from the latter half of the ninth century onwards. They were mostly Danes, but in the north-western parts of the country such as Cheshire, Lancashire, Westmorland, Cumberland and West Yorkshire, the settlers were mostly Norwegians. Many English names adopted by Scandinavians were changed in form to conform better to Scandinavian habits of speech.
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