The name Tantown first arose amongst the Anglo-Saxon
tribes of Britain. It is derived from their having lived in the town of Taunton in the county of Somerset
. The surname Tantown 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.
Early Origins of the Tantown family
The surname Tantown 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. 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. 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." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
Early History of the Tantown family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tantown research.Another 155 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 125 and 1250 are included under the topic Early Tantown History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Tantown Spelling Variations
One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations
under which the name Tantown has appeared include Taunton, Tantone, Tanton and others.
Early Notables of the Tantown family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Tantown Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Tantown family to the New World and Oceana
At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England
was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England
at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Tantown arrived in North America very early: Samuel Taunton settled in Barbados in 1663.