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     The Ancient Chronicles of England reveal the early records of the name Haughton as a Norman surname which ranks as one of the oldest. The history of the name is closely interwoven into the majestic tapestry which is an intrinsic part of the history of Britain.

     In-depth research by skilled analysts into ancient manuscripts such as the Domesday Book (compiled in 1086 by William the Conquerer), the Ragman Rolls, the Wace Poem, the Honour Roll of the Battel Abbey, the Curia Regis, Pipe Rolls, the Falaise Roll, Tax Records, baptismals, family genealogies, local parish and church records show the first record of the name Haughton was found in Cheshire where they were seated from very ancient times. They were granted the lands of Houghton in Cheshire by King William the Conqueror for their timely assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.

     Many alternate spellings were found in the archives researched, typically linked to a common root, usually one of the Norman Nobles at the Battle of Hastings. Although the name Haughton occured in many references, from time to time the surname included Haughton, Houghton, Hoctor, Hector, and these changes in spelling frequently occured even between father and son. Scribes recorded and spelled the name as it sounded.

     Typically a person would be born with one spelling, married with another, and buried with a headstone which showed another. All three spellings related to the same person. Sometimes preferences for different spelling variations either resulted from a branch preference, religious affiliation, or sometimes nationalistic statements.

     The family name Haughton is believed to be descended originally from the Norman race, frequently but mistakenly assumed to be of French origin. They were more accurately of Viking origin. The Vikings landed in the Orkneys and Northern Scotland about the year 870 A.D., under their King, Stirgud the Stout, Thorfinn Rollo, His descendant landed in Northern France about the year 940 A.D. The French King, Charles the Simple, after Rollo laid siege to Paris, finally conceded defeat and granted Northern France to Rollo.

     Rollo became the first Duke of Normandy, the territory of the north men. Rollo married Charles' daughter and became a convert to Christianity. Duke William, who invaded and defeated England in 1066, was descended from the first Duke Rollo of Normandy.

     Duke William took a cencus of most of England in 1086 and recorded it in the Domesday Book. A family name capable of being traced back to this manuscript, or to Hastings, was a signal honour for most families during the middle ages, and even to this day.

     The surname Haughton emerged as a notable family name in the County of Cheshire where they were recorded as a family of great antiquity, seated with manor and estates in that Shire. They were descended from Ethelred (Fitz Renfrid), third son of Ivan de Taillebois, a Norman Baron from Angevin in Normandy who accompanied Duke William at Hastings. Ivan was Baron of Kendall in Westmoreland and was said to be related to William the conqueror. Ivan died in 1114 A.D. The Houghtons were recorded as being seated at Haughton just outside Birkenhead in Cheshire from about the year 1130. Junior branches later moved across the Mersey to Lancashire and to Beckbury in the county of Salop. Houghton Hall is at Market Weighton in Yorkshire, now occupied by the Langdales. Houghton in the hole or Houghton in the Dale is five miles from Wells in Norfolk. They flourished on their estates for several centuries and intermarried with the distinguished families of that area. Notable amongst the family at this time was Haughton of Cheshire.

     The surname Haughton contributed much to local politics and in the affairs of England or Scotland. During the 11th and 12th centuries, many of these Norman families moved north to Scotland. Later, in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, England was ravaged by religious and political conflict. The Monarchy, the Church, and Parliament fought for supremacy. Religious elements vied for control, the State Church, the Roman Church and the Reform Church all, in their time, made demands on rich and poor alike. They broke the spirit of men and many turned from religion, or alternatively, renewed their faith, pursuing with vigour and ferocity, the letter of the ecclesiastical law. Many families were freely "encouraged" to migrate to Ireland, or to the "colonies". Non believers or dissidents were banished, sometimes even hanged.

     The settlers in Ireland became known as the "adventurers for land in Ireland". They undertook to keep the protestant faith. In Ireland, they settled in Tipperary and adopted the names Haughan and Hoctor which later became confused with Hector, all of which are synonyms for the name in Ireland.

     The democratic attitudes of the New World spread like wildfire. Many migrated aboard the fleet of sailing ships known as the "white sails". The stormy Atlantic, small pox, dysentery cholera, and typhoid took their toll on the settlers and many of these tiny, overcrowded ships arrived with only 60 or 70 percent of their passenger list. The migration or banishment to the New World continued, some voluntarily from Ireland, but mostly directly from England or Scotland, their home territories. Some Clansand families even moved to the European continent.

     In North America, migrants which could be considered a kinsman of the family name Haughton, or variable spellings of that same family name included Gerard Haughton, settled in the Barbados in 1639, Thomas Haughton, settled in Virginia in 1635, and well as Robert Haughton in the same year. From the port of arrival many settlers joined the wagon trains westward. During the American War of Independence, some declared their loyalty to the crown and moved northward into Canada and became known as the United Empire Loyalists.

     There were many notables of this name Haughton, Daniel Haughton, Aerospace Executive; Dr. Sidney Haughton.

     In the process of researching this distinguished family name we also traced the most ancient grant of Arms from the branches which developed their own Arms.
      The most ancient grant of a Coat of Arms found was:
           Black with three silver bars.
      The crest is:
           A Bulls head.
      The ancient family motto for this distinguished name is:
           "malgre le tort"

Kindly supplied by Wilda Haughton Kiland.


Index of Burial Names

Page created by Charles Paul Keller, January 23, 2002
Web Page Copyright 2002

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