- This name, recorded mainly in Northern England, is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is locational from any of three villages thus called near Northallerton, York and Huddersfield in Yorkshire. Recorded as "Distone" in the Domesday Book of 1086 for the various ridings of the above county, the name, in all cases, derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "dic", a ditch or dyke, plus the suffix "tun", a farm or settlement; hence, "settlement surrounded by a dyke or moat". Locational surnames, such as this, were usually acquired by a local landowner, or by the lord of the manor, and especially by those former inhabitants of a place who had moved to another area, usually in search of work, and were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace. The surname is first recorded at the beginning of the 13th Century (see below), and other early recordings include: Robert de Dighton, who appeared in the Register of the Freeman of the City of York, dated 1330, and a Johannes de Dyghton, recorded in the 1379 Poll Tax Records of Yorkshire. Recordings from Yorkshire Church Registers include the christening of Mary, daughter of Thomas Deighton, on June 7th 1623, in Thrisk. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas de Dicton, witness, which was dated 1204, witness in the "Assize Court Rolls of Yorkshire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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.
Surnames reference. 2013.