This is an English locational surname of 13th century origins. It derives from the county town of Taunton, in Somerset. The place is ancient being pre 8th century, and first recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, sometimes described, if not too accurately, as the world's first newspaper in the year 722 a.d. The name means. the place (tun) on the Tone (river). The surname is at least five centuries later than the first place name recording, but even then it is still one of the earliest of all surnames. These first recordings in Somerset give the twin entry of Gilbert de Tauntone, and Gwydo de Tauntone, in the famous Hundred Rolls for the county in the year 1273. Whether these were strictly hereditary recordings is unclear, but there is no doubt about that of John Taunton, the abbot of Cirencester, although he himself may not have passed on the succession. Locational surnames were usually 'from' names, in that they were given to people after they moved from their original homes to some other place. However locational surnames were also given to the local landowner or lord of the manor, and this appears to be the case here. Whether all surnames holders originate from the first nameholders, we are unable to say, but it seems probable.