This name is of Scottish locational origin from an old village of the name in the parish of Bedrule, Roxburghshire, so called from the old English pre 7th Century "fugol", bird, plus "tun", an enclosure or settlement. The surname first appears on record in the mid 13th Century, (see below). In 1272 a quitclaim of the land of Fulton was witnesses by one Thomas de Fulton, and in 1273 a grant by Malcolm, earl of Levenax to Paisley, was witnesses by an Alan de Foulton. Henry de Foultone of Lanarkshire rendered homage to Edward 1 of England in 1296 and Thomas de Fougheltone of Lanarkshire rendered homage in that year also. 16th Century records show that one, Robert Foultoun possessed a tenement in Irvine in 1506, and John Fultoune possessed one in Glasgow in 1554. An interesting namebearer was Robert Fulton (1765 - 1815), of Ulster Scottish descent who was the first to successfully apply steam to navigation in the United States. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas de Fulton, witness to a donation, which was dated circa 1260 - "Register of the monastery of Paisley", during the reign of King Alexander 111 of Scotland, 1249 - 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.