The name Milton is of Anglo-Saxon/English origin being derived from the town of Lockwood which is found in West Yorkshire. Lockwood is a compound of two medieval English words, loc which translates “paddock” or “fenced enclosure” and wudu which translates to “forest” or “woods”.
Surnames in Britain prior to the Norman conquest were largely unheard of. In the small settlements and villages which existed during earlier times, residents found little need for surnames as everyone in these communities new each other and a given name would usually suffice. However, with the passage of time, population growth and expansions of communities as villages gave way to towns and cities, it became necessary to add a qualifier to a people's names to distinguish them, one from another. Therefore one person may have been identified by their given name plus their occupation while another may have been identified by their given name and one of their parent's names. The introduction of surnames by the Norman aristocracy after the invasion seemed to be the next logical step in this evolution. There was a boundless supply from which surnames could be formed, in addition to the use of patriarchal/matriarchal names or reference to the individuals occupational, there were things such as defining physical traits, to a familiar geographical location or a topographical landmark found near the individuals home or birthplace, the name of the village in which the person lived, and so much more. Soon, surnames would come not just to represent an individual but whole families.
There often exists variations in spelling of many surname's, as with many names which date back to the early centuries. The variation in spelling of both given and surnames during this time period can be attributed to a lack of continuity regarding guidelines for spelling which was compounded by the diversity of languages in use in European countries at this time. The variations in the spelling of the surname Milton include but not limited to; Lockwood, Lokewod, Lockewod, Lockward, and Locwode among others.
The earliest record of any variation of this surname is that of Sir Henry de Locwode which appears in the Staffordshire tax rolls from 1294. These rolls, were a series of census and tax records kept by the English Treasury by order of King Edward I, with the oldest dating back to the 12th century. They hold the distinction of being the oldest consecutive set of records detailing English governance in the United Kingdom. These records span a period of over 700 years and have proven invaluable to researches over the years.
The first recorded immigrant to America bearing the surname or any variation of the spelling was Edmund and Elizabeth Lockwood and their child who arrived in 1630 and settled in Salem, Massachusetts. Anthony Lockwood landed and settled in Maryland in 1665 and Robert Lockwood arrived and settled in Maryland in 1666.
There were also many immigrants to the British Common Wealth countries of Canada and Australia bearing the surname Lockwood. Amos and Mary Lockwood and their daughters, Phoebe and Sarah landed in 1783 and settled in Nova Scotia. Brothers, John and George Lockwood landed in 1851 and settled in Adelaide, Australia. Brothers, Daniel and John Lockwood landed in 1849 and settled in Wellington, New Zealand. James Lockwood landed and settled in Auckland, New Zealand in 1843.
Worldwide, the highest concentration of people with the surname Lockwood are found in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and Canada. By state, the largest percentile of those with the surname Lockwood live in New York.
There are many persons of note who bear the surname Lockwood. Sir Joseph Lockwood was born in Southwell, Nottinghamshire, England. He was the Chairman of EMI Record and Entertainment company for over twenty years. It was during his tenure that the company saw some of it; greatest expansion and growth and he is also the one who signed the Beatles. Lockwood was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1960.
Charles Andrews Lockwood was born in Midland, Virginia. He was an officer in the U.S. Navy where in he was a Vice-Admiral and Flag Officer. Lockwood fought I World War I and World War II as a submarine commander. He is renowned for his leadership and skill especially for tactics during the second World War. For his military service during wartime, Lockwood received the Distinguished Service Medal three times and a Legion of Merit award. He also authored several books on military history and contributed to several more.