This interesting surname, found recorded in both England and Scotland, is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is locational, being a a dialectal variant of a number of various places called Whitton, such as Whitton in Durham, Northumberland, Shropshire, Suffolk and South West London. The first element of the placenames is the Olde English pre 7th Century byname "Hwita", which means "white", and "tun", an enclosure or settlement; hence, "Hwita's settlement". The Scottish Whitton derives its name from the lands of Whitton in Morebattle parish Roxburghshire. Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. The surname from the latter source was first recorded in the late 13th Century (see below). Recordings from London Church Registers include: the christening of Ann, daughter of Huck and Mary Whiten, at St. Lawrence', Poutney, on July 4th 1689, and the christening of Benjamin, son of Joseph and Mary Whiten, on November 13th 1756. The surname development has included: de Witton (1296); de Wyttne (circa 1297); de Whitton (1303); and Qwitton (1361). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Magister R. de Wytton, which was dated 1285, witnessed a charter by John, Prior of St. Andrew's, Scotland, during the reign of King Alexander 111 of Scotland, 1248 - 1286. 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.

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  • whiten — vb 1 Whiten, blanch, bleach, decolorize, etiolate can all mean to change from an original color to white or almost to white. To Whiten is to make white usually by the applica tion or addition of something from without {whiten shoes with pipe… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Whiten — Whit en, v. t. To make white; to bleach; to blanch; to whitewash; as, to whiten a wall; to whiten cloth. [1913 Webster] The broad stream of the Foyle then whitened by vast flocks of wild swans. Macaulay. [1913 Webster] Syn: See {Blanch}. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Whiten — Whit en, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Whitened}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Whitening}.] [OE. whitenen; cf. Icel. hv[=i]tna.] To grow white; to turn or become white or whiter; as, the hair whitens with age; the sea whitens with foam; the trees in spring whiten… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • whiten — is the usual form of the verb in current usage in the meanings ‘to make white’ and ‘to become white’, but white is used in the expression whited sepulchre (meaning ‘a hypocrite’, in allusion to Matthew 23:27) and in the phrasal verb white out… …   Modern English usage

  • whiten — [v] make or become extremely pale blanch, bleach, blench, chalk, decolor, decolorize, dull, etiolate, fade, frost, grizzle, lighten, pale, silver, turn pale, white, whitewash; concept 250 Ant. blacken, darken, dirty …   New thesaurus

  • whiten — ► VERB ▪ make or become white. DERIVATIVES whitener noun …   English terms dictionary

  • whiten — [hwīt′ n, wīt′ n] vt., vi. [ME whitnen < ON hvitna < hvitr, WHITE] to make or become white or whiter …   English World dictionary

  • whiten — /hwuyt n, wuyt n/, v.t., v.i. to make or become white. [1250 1300; ME whitenen; see WHITE, EN1] Syn. WHITEN, BLANCH, BLEACH mean to make or become white. To WHITEN implies giving a white color or appearance by putting a substance of some kind on… …   Universalium

  • whiten — [[t](h)wa͟ɪt(ə)n[/t]] whitens, whitening, whitened V ERG When something whitens or when you whiten it, it becomes whiter or paler in colour. Her knuckles whiten as she clenches her hands harder. [V n] ...toothpastes that whiten teeth …   English dictionary

  • whiten — UK [ˈwaɪt(ə)n] / US / US [ˈhwaɪt(ə)n] verb [intransitive/transitive] Word forms whiten : present tense I/you/we/they whiten he/she/it whitens present participle whitening past tense whitened past participle whitened to become pale or white, or to …   English dictionary

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