Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Eaton Name
Origins of Name:
The surname of Eaton is of an Anglo-Saxon origin, and it is a locational surname which derives from one of the many places named Eaton. These places are found in the midland and the north-midland of England, and are often named as deriving from the Old English Pre 7th Century word “ea” that is translated as meaning “river” and the suffix “tun” which is translated as meaning “enclosure” or “settlement.” In 1086, these town names were recorded into the Doomsday Book, which consisted of a “Great Survey” throughout England. The names were recorded under various different spellings, such as Etone, Ettuna, Etune, and Ettone. Other places that are called Eaton are derived from the Old English “eg” which is translated as “island” or “low-lying-land” or “low-land” and the suffix “tun” which can also be translated to mean “settlement” or “enclosure.” These names are also recorded in the Doomsday Book of 1086, and are spelled with the different variations of Eitone, and Eitune. In modern times, this surname has changed to be spelled as either Eaton, or Eyton.
More common variations are:
Eiaton, Eeaton, Eatton, Yeaton, Ewaton, Eatone, Eaaton, Eton, Eayton, Eatoin
The first recorded spelling of the surname of Eaton is in the year 1273, and is shown to be that of Peter de Eton, who was recorded and mentioned in the Hundred Rolls of Huntingdonshire. This surname was recorded under the reign of King Edward I, who was commonly referred to throughout history as “The Hammer of the Scots”. King Edward I reigned over his kingdom beginning in 1272 to the year 1307. Other recorded spellings of this surname include John Eaton, who was recorded as being christened in the year 1566 at St. Lawrence Jewry in London, and Edward Eaton and Clemence Jordan who were married at St. Mary’s Woodchurch, in the year 1570 in the month of October. In England, those who bear the surname of Eaton originated in the county of Cheshire. Today, those who carry the surname of Eaton are often found in high concentrations in the counties of Lancashire, Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Essex, Middlesex, and the city of London.
In the country of Scotland, those who bear the surname of Eaton are found in the counties of Angus, Midlothian, Renfrewshire, and Lanarkshire.
United States of America:
The European Migration was a movement of people from the European countries who had wanted a better life and left their homeland in search of one. Many of these people went to the United States of America, which at that time was reffered to as The New World or The Colonies, because this new land promised the freedoms that they were so hoping for. The first person to bear the surname of Eaton and was recorded as arriving in the United States of America was the Eaton family, made up of Francis Eaton, his wife Sarah Eaton, and their son Samuel Eaton who all arrived in the United States in Plymouth, Massachusetts, by sailing aboard the maiden voyage of “The Mayflower.” These settlers were not just the first people to bear the surname of Eaton in the United States of America, they were among the first people in America ever. Those who bear the surname of Eaton are found in the various states of Massachusetts, New York, Texas, Oklahoma, Iowa, California, , Illinois, Maine, Michigan and the state of Virginia.
United States 55,118
South Africa 2,356
New Zealand 776
Henry Smith Van Eaton (1826-1898) who was an American Democrat politician, and a Member of the Mississippi State Legislature, a U.S. Representative from Mississippi in the 6th District from the year 1883 to the year 1887
Mindy Van Eaton, who was an American Republican politician. She was also an Alternate Delegate to the Republican National Convention from Missouri in the year 2008
C. S. Van Eaton, who was an American Republican politician, and a Member of the Iowa State Senate in the 32nd District, who was elected in the year 1948
John Charles Eaton (1935-2015) who was an American composer, and a recipient of the Prix de Rome and was also a Guggenheim Fellow
Joseph W. Eaton (1919-2012) who was born with the name Josef Wechsler, and was a German-born American sociologist and anthropologist
Brigadier-General William Herbert Eaton (1906-1945) who was in the Supple Army Air Force in 1945 and was the American Assistant Chief of Staff.
Brigadier-General Ralph Parker Eaton (1898-1986) who was in the Carribean Command in 1948 and was the American Staff Secretary.
Eaton Coat of Arms Meaning
The two main devices (symbols) in the Eaton blazon are the cross patonce and mullet. The two main tinctures (colors) are gules and argent.
Gules, the heraldic colour red is very popular, sometimes said to represent “Military Fortitude and Magnanimity”. It is usually abbreviated as gu and in the days before colour printing was shown in a system known as hatching by vertical lines . Although it may look like a French word it is normally pronounced with a hard “g” and may be derived either from the Latin gula (throat) or Arabic gule (rose).
Argent is the heraldic metal Silver and is usually shown as very pure white. It is also known more poetically as pearl, moon (or luna) . In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper .
No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross . Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. Since no two arms could be identical there arose many variants of the cross, typically involving patterning along the edges , or fanciful, decorative endings to the arms of the cross . The cross patonce is typical of these, whereby each arm of the cross expands and ends in a bud-like projection. These cross variations are probably largely for decorative effect, and to differentiate the arms from similar ones and hence their significance is that of the Christian cross itself.
The heraldic mullet, not to be confused with the fish of that name, is shown as a regular, five pointed star. This was originally, not an astronomical object, but represented the spur on a horseman’s boot, especially when peirced, with a small circular hole in the centre it represents a type of spur known as a “rowel” . A clear example can be found in the arms of Harpendene, argent, a mullet pierced gules. The ancient writer Guillim associated such spurs in gold as belonging to the Knight, and the silver to their esquires . In later years, Wade linked this five pointed star with the true celestial object, the estoile and termed it a “falling star”, symbolising a “divine quality bestowed from above” .