The English surname Hinton is an habitational name from any of the numerous places so called, which split more or less evenly into two groups with different etymologies. One set (with examples in Berkshire, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Herefordshire, Somerset, and Wiltshire) is named from the Old English weak dative hean (originally used after a preposition and article) of heah ‘high’ + Old English tun ‘enclosure’, ‘settlement’. The other (with examples in Cambridgeshire, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Northamptonshire, Shropshire, Somerset, Suffolk, and Wiltshire) has Old English hiwan ‘household’, ‘monastery’. The name is recorded in England as early as the 13th Century. The name is first recorded in the New World in 1623 when Elizabeth, Elias, Joanne and John Hinton all settled in Virginia. Today there are approximately 33,000 bearers of the name Hinton living in the US.
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