"Research shows that the family name Eaton has been around since the eleventh century. Eaton is a Anglo-Saxon occupational last name of old French origins. First documented evidence of the surname dates to the county of Cambridgeshire in 1432.
Eaton is currently at number 1899 of the UK's most common surnames. Throughout the world there are around 57159 people with this last name. The nineteen eleven census carried out by H.M. Treasury for the United Kingdom shows the largest number of Eaton's in the county of Hampshire." (Source: [http://www.researchmyname.com/Eaton/index.htm] )
"In ancient Anglo-Saxon England, the ancestors of the Eaton surname lived on a farm by a river or a farm on an island. The surname Eaton originally derived from the Old English word Eatun which referred to farm on a river or island. The surname Eaton is a topographic surname, which was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church or type of tree. Habitation names form the other broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Other local names are derived from the names of houses, manors, estates, regions, and entire counties. As a general rule, the greater the distance between an individual and their homeland, the larger the territory they were named after. For example, a person who only moved to another parish would be known by the name of their original village, while people who migrated to a different country were often known by the name of a region or country from which they came.
It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardised. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Eaton are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Eaton include: Eton, Eaten and others.
First found in Cheshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say the name originated well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 AD." (Source: [http://www.houseofnames.com/eaton-family-crest] )
See also: Hytthon, Hittou
The Eaton Families Association [http://www.eatongenealogy.com/]