The Ayton clan and descendants
View Larger Map
Syderstone and Itteringham - the main towns in Norfolk, England where the Tasmanian Ayton's came from.
History of the Ayton surname:
Ayton takes its name from Ea-tun the tun or farm on an 'ea' or river.
Different dialects and transcribing errors probably gave rise to eponyms such as Aiton, Arton, Aton, Aydon, Ayton, Eaton, Eden, Edon, Etton, Eyton, Ha(i)ton, Harton, Hayton, and Heaton, although usually originally pronounced the same -- i.e. "eye-ton."
Ayton : the origins and histories of peoples of the name in Britain : with additional notes on Acton, Aughton, Aydon, Eaton, Eden, Eighteen, Etton, Eyton, Hayden, Hayton, Orton and Tayton Ayton, William Tillery. Ayton
Shropshire / Welsh origins of de Eyton / Eton name:
The main candidate for the first mention of this place name is in "Codex Diplomaticus", vol. vi, pp.253; which describes how Leofric, duke of Mercia [husband of Godiva], in 1043 granted by charter to the monks of Coventry: "Eton iuxta aquam quae dicitur Dee in Cestriae provincia": "Eton next to the water that is called Dee in the county of Chester."
In Domesday, Eaton is held by Ilbert, but soon was acquired by the Pulford's as follows (I think I got this right):
William de Eton, lord of Eton (and called son of William)
Sybil de Eton
m. Richard de Pulford, alias de Orreby who was the son of Richard de Pulford (known alive in 1190, 1220)
Hamond de Pulford, Lord of Eton living 1217 and 1286
Richard de Pulford, alias de Eton, Lord of Eton
Richard de Pulford, alias de Eton living 1300
Richard de Eton, lord of Eton with whom the Pulford name stopped.
.... to present day, England's richest man, Duke of Westminster.
interesting detailed history (summarised below), the de Eyton and Eaton Coat of Arms and a DNA tracing project.
The first to hold this noted name was Robert de Eyton of Shrewsbury in county Salop who lived circa 1154. Robert de Eyton was seated as Lord of the Manor of Eyton-on-the-Wildmoors.
presumed descendants in Shrewsbury include:
in 1394, John de Eyton was Sheriff of Salop; his brother, Humphrey Eyton, was Ranger of the Forest of Wrekin and Wildmoors;
Sir Nicholas Eyton was Sheriff of Salop in 1440 and Knight of the Shire in 1449;
Thomas Eyton was Sheriff in 1567;
Sir Philip Eyton was High Sheriff of Salop in 1633;
Sir Thomas Eyton was knighted at Shrewsbury in 1642 and his son, Rev. John Eyton, was Rector of Eyton and Vicar of Wellington;
Thomas Eyton was High Sheriff of Salop in 1741 and another Thomas Eyton was High Sheriff of Salop in 1779.
gave rise to the notable family of EATON of Cheshire
erected Eaton Hall in Cheshire and also acquired Messing Park and Stretchworth Park
acquired Tolethorpe Hall in Rutland and Chapell Bar in Nottingham.
many settled in Kent then emigrated overseas to the New World in the 17th century with the 1st recorded Eatons in Nth America including:
Francis Eaton, his wife Sarah and son Samuel who arrived on the Mayflower and settled in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620
John Eaton of Dedham, John Eaton of Haverhill, Jonas Eaton of Reading, Nathaniel Eaton of Cambridge and William Eaton of Reading who settled in New England from 1630 to 1640
Theophilus Eaton with wife Anne and children Mary, Samuel, and Theophilus who arrived on the Hector and settled first in Boston in 1638 and finally New Haven, Connecticut
Alexander Eaton who settled in Boston, Massachusetts in 1651;
William Eaton who settled in North Carolina about 1670;
Thomas Eaton who settled in Shrewsbury, New Jersey in 1670;
Eliza Eaton who settled in Pennsylvania in 1682
John, George and Edward Eaton who settled in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania from 1683 to 1686.
There was a second migration from New England to Nova Scotia which occurred in 1760 with a further influx in 1770's culminating in 1783 in response to the American Civil War.
some EATON members managed to get convicted and transported to Australia in the late 18th/early 19th centuries (see below)
Perhaps the name originated in the county of Berwickshire which is south east of Edinburgh, and presumably the origin of the Ayton coat of arms - first found in Berwickshire, where they held a family seat from ancient times, long before the Norman Conquest in 1066.
Ayton village, Scottish borders south-east of Edinburgh, on the River Eye
Sweyn de Eiton who had possession of a "Town on the River Eye" during the 12th century is the earliest recorded progenitor of the Aytons. His descendant, William de Eyton, is mentioned in the late 13th century Ragman Roll.
in 1349, Ayton Parish was hit by the Black Death plague for the 1st time, causing the population to remain virtually constant for nearly 150 years.
The family held their lands until 1472 when an heiress married into a branch of the Home family thereafter known as the Homes of Ayton. However, the heiress had an uncle named Andrew who became Captain of Stirling Castle during the reign of James IV and was given lands at Dunmuir in north Fife after which the Aytons became a Fifeshire family.
in 1497, after the Earl of Surrey's attacks and demolition of the old Ayton Castle, Ayton Parish ceased to be a strategic stronghold of the Hume family who had dominated the region since 1472 and were to continue being prominent in the parish's history over the centuries.
Ayton Castle, Eyemouth was constructed for the family of Mitchell-Innes in 1851:
some Aytons from these Scottish origins:
Sir Robert Ayton (Aytoun) of Kincaldie 1570-1638 - one of the earliest Scottish poets to use standard English as a literary medium
He was private secretary to the queens of James I and Charles I, besides holding other posts of honor. He wrote poems in French, Greek, and Latin, of which only the latter are preserved.
A poem, “Old Long Syne,” that is ascribed to Ayton may possibly have been the inspiration for the famous “Auld Lang Syne” by Robert Burns as it contains the line "Should old acquaintance be forgot, And never thought upon"
Richard Ayton (1786-1823) - dramatist and writer
William T Ayton - British painter born in north of England, now living in USA.
although it is possible the Berwickshire Aytons migrated south to Yorkshire, the existence of villages named AYTON which existed prior to 1066 would suggest the possibility of a separate family arising from this region deriving their name from the village names.
Great Ayton village in North Riding, Yorkshire, England where Capt James Cook attended school from age 8yrs before "discovering" Australia in 1770. Cook's cottage was dismantled and shipped to Australia in 1934 to be re-erected in Melbourne's Fitzroy Gardens. A late 12thC church still remains as does Cook's schoolhouse.
East and West Ayton, Yorkshire, England
"The village sites date from Roman days.
Later, the Saxons and the Danes settled near the site of Ayton Castle and the name Ayton was bestowed, meaning 'a settlement by the Ay' or river.
The Domesday Book describes 'Atun' as having '15 villuns'
and '4 ploughs' but this entry was made after the pillaging of the north
by William I (William the Conqueror) during which cattle were slain,
houses and crops burned to the ground and fields
By the reign of King John, the Norman family de Aton appears to be the chief family in the village.
It is likely that Gilbert, First Lord of Ayton, first constructed an early version of Ayton castle. He died in 1350 and was succeeded by his son William. William, who died in 1389 at 90, left his Malton and Ayton estates to his daughter Catherine, who later married Sir Ralph de Eure. The existing (now ruined) castle was built by Sir Ralph."
the church dates from the 12th century.
Mel Ayton - British political historian living in Durham, England
http://www.bedfordpark.net/genealogy/ayton/durham.htm of Wolsingham, Durham:
Joseph AYTON (c1724-)
The Atton family have lived in the village of Braunston in Rutland since at least 1500. It is possible that the family descends from the de Atons / de Attons / de Aytons of Pickering Lythe (West Ayton etc)
Migration to Norfolk or originating in Norfolk:
the Ayton's of Norfolk, England:
Syderstone and Tattersett belong to the Hundred of Gallow which is adjacent the Hundred of Docking and of South Erpingham.
The first AYTON in the Syderstone family tree (my ancestors) who has been linked to the tree is William AYTON (1763-) who married Mary WACEY/MACEY (1754-1797) of nearby South Creake, Docking in 1775.
Itteringham family (c1765-):
Itteringham which belonged to the South Erpingham Hundred became part of the Aylsham Union in 1834.
It seems that the first Aytons to move to Itteringham were in the 1760's when Robert AYTON (1730c-) and his wife Mary BLACKBURN (1736-) moved there around 1765 after being in Blickling in 1753 and later Whitwell.
"It is possible that this branch of the Ayton name here derives from the local name of Heydon, represented by a notable family at Baconsthorpe from the C13 to C17."
John Ayton (-1754) probably married Mary (-1772) around 1724 in the Attleborough area, and went on to have several children in New Buckenham between 1726 and 1742:
John (bapt 1727) married Elizabeth Page (at Besthorpe, in 1755) and went on to initiate a line of Aytons in Wymondham, Hingham and Bunwell.
Charles (Eighteen, bapt 1742) married Elizabeth LAKE (at Attleborough, in 1777) and initiated the Attleborough branch of the family.
It is possible that John was a descendant of the Andrew EYTON who married Evelyne LEA in Old Buckenham in 1624.
Aytons of Diss, south Norfolk
William and Susan Ayton had at least two children baptised in Diss, in 1737 and 1742
a Charles and Mary Ayton also appear to have been having children in the parish around the same period.
in 1821 census of Diss there were G. Eaton, John Blaxall, William Ayton, Mrs Ayton
C. Ayton (c1738-1813) aged 75yrs of Diss, had been 49yrs as sexton of the parish. - The Gentleman's Magazine May 1813 obituary.
a Chas. Ayton was witness at a number of ELLIS marriages in 1773-1812. - see here
Robert AYTON (1843-) m. Harriett SCASE in 1873, son Robert AYTON (1874-) - see here
associated families in Norfolk, England in 1750-1850 include:
lived near and married an Ayton of Itteringham and name given to William Pooley Ayton (perhaps of Itteringham) who emigrated to Australia.
married an AYTON of Diss and their son was presumably George who was convicted and transported to Australia.
Mary WACEY of South Creake, Docking married Wiliam AYTON (1763-) of Syderstone
Anne BARNES married John AYTON (1785-) of Syderstone
Thomas YAXLEY married the daughter of Edward AYTON (1810-) of Norfolk, Maria.
hence my Norfolk research web scrapbook trying to establish linkages.
Henry and Mary Ayton had a son John baptised at Huntingfield in north-east Suffolk in 1682, and John's descendants continued to flourish in the area around Halesworth, Chediston, Sibton and Peasenhall down until the early 19th century.
Several branches of the family moved south:
to the area around Cressing and Braintree in Essex - see Aytons of the area around Braintree, Essex
to the east end of London
to Godstone in Surrey
and to Sussex
while one branch moved to Warwickshire and the West Midlands.
This is the family of Chris Ayton of Cheshire and Chris Ayton of Sussex, both active researchers of the general history of the Ayton family.
Another (probably related) local line springs from Hannah Ayton (b.c.1778 in Halesworth) who married Robert Whitton at Denham in 1797. This line is being researched by Geoff Whitton.
Migration to London:
inevitably it would seem some of the AYTON descendants would come to London in the late 18th/early 19th centuries, at this stage I have not been able to determine the parents or origins of:
Richard "George" AYTON (1823-1886) of London was convicted of theft and transported to Tasmania, Australia in 1842.
John AYTON (1826c-1894) was born in Islington, father John Ayton of Suxmundham, Suffolk uncle Lt Garnham Blaxall
father John Ayton of Suxmundham, Suffolk
uncle Lt Garnham Blaxall
Charles AYTON (1826-) m. Emma CARTER (1830-)
Mary AYTON (1739-1770)
married Benjamin WESTALL (1736-1794)
Richard WESTALL R.A. (1765-1836) painter of the Royal Academy - see here
Richard thanks a William AYTON, a banker of Lombard St, in a poem
Richard drew a portrait of writer Richard Ayton
Richard painted and exhibited portraits of John Ayton and William Ayton at the RA in 1806
Richard was a close friend of John Ayton (-1829)
Richard's half-brother, William Westall A.R.A. (1781-1850) travelled to Australia with Matthew Flinders
descendants of Benjamin Westall went to Australia.
Fanny Ayton (opera singer and actress)
John Ayton, Captain of merchant vessel died 1815-1825 m. Elizabeth DENT (1794-) in 1805
Ayton members who migrated to Australia in the 19th century:
Convict deportation to Australia:
EATON convicts (see here):
on the First Fleet in 1788:
Mary EATON alias SHEPHARD from Exeter Devon, England convicted in 1786.
Martha EATON listed as in service to Edward Jones. convicted in 1786.
John EATON of Derby
William EATON was born February 3,1769 at Bethnal Green, UK and died May 31, 1858 at Richmond, NSW. Convicted 1788, arrived in Australia 1792.
Ann EATON Nottingham, age 20, convicted in 1809.
Patrick EATON (in Sydney 1821)
Benjamin EATON of Northampton was 38 years old, serving a 15 year term, convicted March 28, 1851
John EATON from Worcester, England was 34 years old as of date of conviction, December 31, 1861, serving a 10 year term for sheep stealing
William EATON from Central Criminal Court was 43 at time of conviction, October 27, 1851
Christopher EATON of Salford, 21 years old as of his conviction May 21, 1849 serving a 10-year sentence for larceny
John EATON from the Central Criminal Court, 37 years old as of April 9, 1849 when he was sentenced to 10 years for burglary.
William John EATON 28, of Pontrefract, convicted April 9, 1866 of larceny, serving a 10-year term.
John EATON from ship Albion, 23 years of age, Index 5, absconded.
my great grandfather's uncle, Edward AYTON of Syderstone was convicted and transported to Australia on the Blenheim in 1837. This transportation resulted in the subsequent assisted immigration of his nephews, nieces and two daughters (see below).
see Ayton family
Richard "George" AYTON (1823-1886), a convict from London who settled in Longford becoming a brewer and farmer.
convicted with another man Richard Sullivan, for stealing a pocket handkerchief at Temple Bar and transported on the "Surrey" in 1842.
see Lowe family
William AYTON, single, was transported to NSW on the Bengal Merchant – 7yr sentence for picking pockets. – a further sentence at Maitland – life. see here for account of his convictions.
Unknown emigration but presumably assisted emigration or employed by the British:
William AYTON conducted a business, with varying
success in the Huon area – west of
Robert Melrose / Melsom AYTON came to
Peter AYTON (1782-1849) was Chief District constable 1824.
1828 he sent to the Governor a memorial for a grant of land for
Rebecca AYTON (1789-1871) b. England, d. Hobart see here
Richard AYTON (1801-) m. Julia MAHAR in 1861 in Hobart. see here
John AYTON who was born c1826 in Islington, m. Eliza Ann REDFORD, m. 9.7.1859 presumably he is the John Ayton living in Liverpool
St, Hobart in 1867 - see here
m. Eliza Ann REDFORD, m. 9.7.1859
presumably he is the John Ayton living in Liverpool St, Hobart in 1867 - see here
William Pooley AYTON, son of Joshua Ayton and Mary Barwick of Itteringham presumably emigrated to Hobart under this scheme in the 1850's. see here.
Denman James AYTON (1850-1929) m. 1876 Louise GOSPER, died Boggabri, NSW
given the names Denman and Ayton are associated in Yorkshire in the 16th century, I am guessing this family originated from the Yorkshire Aytons.
or perhaps from relatives of Hannah Ayton (b.c.1778 in Halesworth) who married Robert Whitton at Denham in 1797.
or perhaps more likely, the Denman name comes from the town in NSW where he was married
John AYTON b. England
m. Catherine COCHRANE b. England
Denman James AYTON (1850-1929) blacksmith
m. Louisa GOSPER in Denman, NSW in 1876
Christopher AYTON m. Mary Ann Landells (1841-1859) from England who died in Coburg Pentridge after having twins who both died.
lived in Chewton, Victoria during the Gold Rush.
Assisted emigration to Australia in 1857:
Assisted emigration to Australia in 1862:
Robert AYTON (1840-1886) of Syderstone (my great, grandfather) at 22 came to Victoria on the "Solway" and to Tasmania on the "Black Swan" in 1862 with his cousin Edward Ayton (1838-) aged 23 and cousin Mary Ann AYTON (1836-1916) who had married John MITCHELL.
see Ayton family
Ayton brothers from Paisley, Scotland:
Thomas McDonald AYTON b. c1889 Paisley, Scotland enlisted in Aust. service in Melbourne in 1915 see here. Father James AYTON in Paisley Scotland.
James Ferguson AYTON b. c.1893 Paisley, Scotland enlisted in Aust. service in Melbourne in 1915 see here. Father James AYTON in 16 Barcly St, Paisley Scotland.
Ephraim AYTON - great grandson Robert Ayton has a blog
AYTON George Albert born 13 June 1938; Joan Maureen (nee Royal) born 7 April 1939; Susan Joan born 25 April 1957; Wendy Ann born 18 October 1958; Alan George born 29 January 1961; Barry born 24 August 1965; travelled per aircraft departing UK on 13 March 1967 under the Assisted Passage Migration Scheme see here
Anna Maria CHAFFEY nee LEGGO (1823-1903), the daughter of Christopher LEGGO (LEGAULT) and Ann AYTON of Cornwall, England who were among the 1st settlers in the Perth area of Ontario, Canada. After Anna Maria's husband George CHAFFEY, a ship builder in Ontario died in 1884, becoming the 1st white settler to die there, she came to Australia and died in Mildura in 1903. see pdf here.
Some other Aytons around the world:
Gary Stephen Douglas Ayton of Utah University, nephew of George T Ayton of Canada whose ancestry includes a William Ayton b.11/6/1781 d. 14/12/1861 of England - very close in name, DOB and location to my ancestor and seems to have a 2nd wife with 1st unknown ...hmmm...but he died at EngineRow, Govan Hill, Scotland. Seems their origins are from Forfar, Angus, Scotland around 1750.
Andrew Ayton - British historian
Sarah Ayton - born in Weymouth, England, won gold medal at 2004 Olympics in sailing
Ayton's photography - Christchurch, NZ based photography services headed by a Danish-born, British-trained Phil van Deurs?
Tracey Ayton - Canadian professional photographer
John AYTON m. Harriet Jane OGILVIE (1823-) in Grahamstown, South Africa - see here
Other places called Ayton:
Ayton, Queensland, Australia
remote town in far northern Queensland, north-west of Port Douglas, named by Capt James Cook