This is an English locational surname, although the place of origin is uncertain. The surname is recorded in the modern spellings as Keaton, Keeton, and Ketton, and it is probable that the name does derive from a village called 'Ketton' in the former county of Rutland. This in itself makes it rare, Rutland being for seven centuries the smallest English county until destroyed in 1974, and the 'home' of very few authentic surnames. 'Ketton' village was recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book as 'Chetene', although the meaning is open to dispute.It is probably some form of 'Chater', the local river being so named. There are two other minor claimants to this surname, or at least to some of its nameholders. The first is the village of 'Keyston' in Huntingdon, also recorded in the Domesday Book but as 'Chetelston', whilst the Irish surname 'Keating', which in fact is of English or Welsh 12th century origins, may also have from time to time undergone transposition, particularly on its return to England. Early examples of the surname taken from church registers include John Keiton who married Emma Davies at Uxbridge, Middlesex, on October 10th 1598, and Arthurus Keyting, who married Francisca Yewell, at St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on January 3rd 1600. Other recordings are those of Agnes Ketton, who married John Cambridge at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on January 2nd 1586, Katherine Keeton, who married Henry Annekey, at St Peters church, Pauls Wharf, London, on February 2nd 1647, and Ann Keaton, who married Gabriel Baker at St Giles Cripplegate, London, on December 15th 1738. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Jane Keyton, which was dated November 13th 1552, who married at St Margarets, Westminster, during the reign of King Edward V1, known as 'The boy king', 1547 - 1554. 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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