Caxton is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England
with the Norman Conquest
of 1066. The Caxton family lived in Cambridgeshire
, where they held a family seat
on lands at Causton
Early Origins of the Caxton family
The surname Caxton was first found in Cambridgeshire
where they held a family seat
as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy
, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron
, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England
to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book
Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, the Manor of Caustone was occupied by Hardwin of Scales in 1086, from whom the Caxtons are conjecturally descended. The village of Causton, or Caxton, is on Roman Ermine Street and was once a coaching village. There is a restored gibbet in the village.
Early History of the Caxton family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Caxton research.Another 463 words (33 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1273, 1335, 1422, 1400, 1500, 1422 and 1491 are included under the topic Early Caxton History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Caxton Spelling Variations
Endless spelling variations
are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Caxton, Caxtone, Cackston, Cackstone, Cacstone, Caxten, Caxtan and many more.
Early Notables of the Caxton family (pre 1700)
Another 42 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Caxton Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Caxton family to the New World and Oceana
To escape the political and religious persecution within England
at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Caxton or a variant listed above:
Caxton Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Bryan Caxton, who settled in Maryland in 1678
Contemporary Notables of the name Caxton (post 1700)
- William Caxton (1422-1491), English printer