This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from any of various places called Exton, for example in Devonshire, Somerset, Hampshire and Rutland. The former two derive their first element from the river "Exe", on which they are situated, so named from the Old British (extinct Celtic language of the ancient Britons) "esce" or "easc", water, and the Olde English pre 7th Century "tun", a farm or settlement; hence, "settlement on the river Exe". Exton in Hampshire, recorded as "aet East Seaxhatune" in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles (940), and as "Essessentun" in the Domesday Book of 1086, translates as "the tun (settlement) of the East Saxons".Finally, Exton in Rutland, recorded in the Domesday Book as "Exentune", derives from the Olde English "exna", the plural of "oxa", ox, and "tun" (as before); hence, "ox-farm". Nicholas de Extone is recorded in Wiltshire in 1292. In the modern idiom the name can be found as Exton and Exon. Recordings of the surname from English Church Registers include: the marriage of Simon Exon and Elizabeth Langley on October 27th 1606, at Isle Brewers, Somerset, and the marriage of John Exon and Jane Davis on September 5th 1626, at Stoke Gabriel, Devonshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alexander de Exton, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Devonshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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