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The Anglo-Saxon name Tanton comes from when the family resided in the town of Taunton in the county of Somerset. The surname Tanton is a habitation name that was originally derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. The surname originated as a means of identifying individuals from a particular area. In the Middle Ages people often assumed the name of the place that they originally lived as their surname during the course of travel. As a general rule, the greater the distance between an individual and their homeland, the larger the territory they were named after. For example, a person who only moved to another parish would be known by the name of their original village, while people who migrated to a different country were often known by the name of a region or country from which they came.

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The surname Tanton was first found in Somerset at Taunton, a county town that dates back to at least the Bronze age and was later the site of an ancient Roman farm. The Saxon town even had its own mint and this was the site that King Ine of Wessex had an earthen castle built about 700. Records show the town was listed as Tantum in 737 and by the Domesday Book of 1086 the town was listed as Tantone. [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
The place name literally means "farmstead or village on the River Tone," having derived from the Celtic river-name. [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
The town has a most interesting history and we include it in part at this time. "This place was called by the Saxons Tantun, and subsequently Tawriton and Thoneton, from its situation on the river Thone or Tone. It is of great antiquity; and the discovery of several urns containing Roman coins, in the neighbourhood, has led to the conjecture that it existed in the time of that people. The earliest authentic accounts refer to the period of the heptarchy, when a castle was built here for a royal residence, by Ina, King of the West Saxons, who held his first great council in it, about the year 700. This castle was demolished by his queen Ethelburga, after expelling Eadbricht, King of the South Saxons, who had seized it. The manor is supposed to have been granted to the church of Winchester in the following reign; and another castle is said to have been built on the site of the former, in the time of William I., by the bishops of Winchester, who principally resided in the town for some years. At this period Taunton had a mint, some of the coins, bearing the Conqueror's effigy, being still in existence. In the reign of Henry VII., in 1497, Perkin Warbeck seized the town with its castle, which, however, he quickly abandoned on the approach of the king's troops." [3]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Tanton include Taunton, Tantone, Tanton and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tanton research. Another 155 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 125 and 1250 are included under the topic Early Tanton History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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More information is included under the topic Early Tanton Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants: Samuel Taunton settled in Barbados in 1663.

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  • William F. Tanton, American Democrat politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Oregon 4th District, 1948
  • Glenwood Tanton, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Illinois State Senate 16th District, 1936
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Citations



  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  2. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  4. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  5. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  6. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  7. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  8. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  9. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  10. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  11. ...

The Tanton Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Tanton Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 24 February 2016 at 14:57.

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