This famous and popular surname is Anglo-Scottish. Recorded as Paton, Patton, Patten, Padon, Paddon, and the true patronymic of Patonson, It has two known origins. Firstly it may be a short or fused form of the ancient personal name Patrick, as in Pat + the diminutive suffix '-in' meaning 'Little Pat' or perhaps 'son of Pat', or secondly it may have been a nickname for the son of a man with a cropped hair or was bald. This is from the Middle English word "pate" meaning head or skull. The early charters of Scotland mention Thomas Pattoun of Aberdeen in 1538, and Thomas Patton of Dundee who was killed at the battle of Pinkie in 1547. In America General George Patton (1885 - 1945) of Second World War fame was born in California from a family who had a long military tradition. His earliest known ancestor was Robert Patton, born in Scotland in about 1755, and who emigrated to Virginia in 1770. However the earliest known recordings of the family name are English, of which the first is probably Hugo Patun. He is recorded in the Patent Rolls of the county of Northumberland in the year 1230. This was during the reign of King Henry IIIrd of England, 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the Poll Tax-. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.