This is a locational name from one of many place names thus called in Bedfordshire, Cheshire, Shropshire etc., from Layton in the North Riding of Yorkshire, or Leyton in Essex. The name comes from the Old English 'leac - tun' meaning a leek enclosure or herb garden. In the modern idiom the name has five possible spelling variations - Layton, Leighton, Leyton, Lighten and Leighton. The original holders of this name may have lived on a farm where leeks were grown or may have worked in the kitchen garden. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Lecton, which was dated 1201, the Pipe Rolls of Shropshire, during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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.