This interesting name, with variant spellings Wooton, Wootteen and Wotton, may be of English locational origin from any of the extremely numerous places called Wootton or Wotton, from the Olde English pre-7th Century words "wudu", wood and "tun", enclosure, settlement, or it may perhaps be of English topographical origin, from residence at a farm by a wood from the same elements, as above. Wootton in Bedfordshire was recorded as "Otone" in the Domesday Book in 1086 and "Wutton" in 1197 in the Feet of Fines. The surname first appears in records in the mid 11th Century (see below). The "Liber Feodorum" of Shropshire record one Robert de Wodeton in 1242, while a John de Wutton was mentioned in 1256 in the Assize Rolls of Northumberland. The Hundred Rolls of Middlesex list one John ate Wodeton in 1275. Gilbert de la Wotton was recorded in 1316 in Worcestershire the "Studies of Middle English Local Surnames". John Wootton (1668 - 1765) made his name as an animal and landscape painter, especially as a painter of racehorses at Newmarket. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Wagen de Wotton, which was dated 1048, in "Old English Bynames", Warwickshire, during the reign of Edward the Confessor, "Saxon King", 1042 - 1066. 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.