England, France, Ireland
Origins of Canton:
It is a very interesting and unusual surname of old, ancient origins. Although, with expanded documentations it has no less than four royal symbols, two from England and two from Ireland. It is polygenetic, meaning that it was found in the different districts, and at much the same time, in the middle of the 12th and the 14th centuries. Wherever the surname was listed, the sources are almost certainly the same. These spellings contain as Cantone, Cantoni, Cantarone (Italy), Cantin, Canton, Cantona, Cantonnet (France), Canton, Canteton, Caunton (England Wales & Scotland), Canton and Condon (Ireland). There is a common thread through all the spellings, and that is the real Latin (Roman) word 'canto' which means a resident at the corner of a street or someone who is honest, or probably a farm at the corner of a church boundary. It would seem to prove that the surname is habitational in origin, and in the situation of the British Islands perhaps brought from France at the Norman invasion of 1066. It is just possible that some named ancestors could derive from related to the arms, as the canton was the highest award used as an augmentation of a national symbol. The Swiss word canton has the similar origin, meaning a piece of land, but we have no proof of surnames from this origin, while Canton in China appeared in the 19th century, but was much too late to give surnames. It is considered that as de Canton, the name was first listed in the district of Pembroke, Wales, in the 12th century. A National Symbol given to the family in Kent where it was considered that name ancestor were present in the 16th century, is considered to be the oldest.
More common variations are: Cantone, Cantton, Cantoni, Cantona, Cantono, Cantony, Cannton, Caneton, Cantoon, Cantn.
The surname Canton first appeared in Yorkshire where they held a family seat as Kings of the Castle. The Saxon impact of English history declined after the invasion of Hastings in 1066. French was the language of courts for the next three centuries, and the Norman atmosphere overcame. But Saxon surnames remained, and the family name first introduced in the 13th century when John Galmeton held lands in that shire in the North Riding at Ganton, ancient Saxon name of Gamleton, listed in the Domesday Book in 1086 as the King's land.
Many of the people with surname Canton had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.
United States of America:
Individuals with the surname Canton settled in the United States in two different centuries respectively in the 17th, and 19th. Some of the people with the name Canton who settled in the United States in the 17th century included Christopher Canton, who landed in Maryland in 1634. John Canton who landed in Maryland in the year 1673. Will Canton, who landed in Maryland in 1676.
The following century saw much more Canton surnames arrive. Some of the people with the surname Canton who settled in the United States in the 19th century included Diego Canton landed in Nombre de Dios, Panama in 1835. James Canton at the age of 22, arrived in New York in 1854. Mary Canton at the age of 16, arrived in New York in 1854. Margaret Canton, who arrived in San Francisco, California in the year 1860.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Canton: Mexico 5,732; Spain 4,369; Brazil 3,561; United States 2,902; Italy 2,676; Argentina 2,404; Philippines 2,320; France 2,253; Guatemala 677; El Salvador 474.
Bruce Dal Canton is an American baseball player.
Frank M. Canton is an American gangster (not his real name)
Joanna Canton was an American actress.
Mark Canton was an American film director and manager.
Neil Canton was an American film producer.
William Canton was a British poet, scholar, and author, now famous for his donations to children's literature.
Yediel Canton was a Spanish figure skater.