This very unusual name is believed to be a dialectal form of the Somerset town of Taunton, also pronounced as Tatum and Tanton, these in fact being the correct Anglo-Saxon spellings. The name in its "modern" spelling is not apparently recorded before the 17th Century as shown below, further proof that it is a variant spelling. It is possible that the name is topographical and describes one who lived at a farm by a river, ancient British "Tame" (river) plus Old English tun (a farm), but this is the meaning of Taunton in any case. The intrusive "R" is dialectal to aid pronunciation, the recordings of the name are rare but include Lucresia Tantrum who married one William Smith at the church of St. Brides, Fleet Street, London on December 22nd 1780. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Tautron, which was dated May 7th 1699, a witness at the church of St. Andrews, Undershaft, London, during the reign of King William 111 of Orange and England, 1689 - 1702. 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.