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2,405 study surnames with us
and a further 6,120 variant names.

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About the study

The Gunton One-Name study commenced in 1985. Like many one-name studies, it grew out of an attempt to trace my own ancestry. I was seeking the birth of my 3 x great-grandfather Malachi Gunton, without success and began to collect an increasing collection of Gunton entries. To date I have been unable to locate the baptism of Malachi.

Variant names

I only study the Gunton name, without variants, unless there is a spelling variation in a particular census or parish record.

Name origin

The Gunton surname is a locative one, i.e. it is derived from one or more place names. In the case of the Gunton name, there are two potential sources, one in Norfolk and one in Suffolk.

Historical occurrences of the name

There are few Gunton’s who have espoused greatness. Some of the most well-known include:
  • Simon Gunton (c. 1609 - 1676), Vicar of Peterborough Cathedral and author, History of Peterborough Cathedral
  • Richard Thompson Gunton (1846 – 1921) Private Secretary to the Marquis of Salisbury
  • Robert Patrick (Bob) Gunton, (1954 - ) is an American actor. He is known for playing strict, authoritarian characters, with his best known roles as Warden Samuel Norton in the 1994 prison film The Shawshank Redemption, Chief George Earle in 1993's Demolition Man, Dr. Walcott, the domineering dean of Virginia Medical School in Patch Adams, and President Juan Peron in the original Broadway production of Evita, for which he received a Tony Award nomination..
  • William Mendham Gunton (1791-1880) President of the Bank of Washington
  • George Gunton (1845–1919)influential figure in the labour movement of the United States around the turn of the 20th century and the editor of Gunton's Magazine

Name frequency

From the index of the 1881 census produced by the Church of Latter Day Saints, there were 693 Guntons recorded in that census. This gives a frequency of 0.0195% of the population. According to an ONS database there are some 284 Guntons as of September 2002. This suggests that the Gunton name is growing less slowly than the population as a whole.  

Distribution of the name

1881 Census
County Total▼ Frequency
Norfolk 190 0.0423
London 99 0.0034
Cambridgeshire 95 0.0513
Essex 84 0.0146
Yorkshire 28 0.001
Surrey 20 0.0014
Huntingdonshire 16 0.0276
Lancashire 15 0.0004
Warwickshire 15 0.002
Kent 14 0.0014
Leicestershire 13 0.004
Somerset 11 0.0023


All of the Gunton Birth, Marriage and Death entries from the General Register Offices for England & Wales (since 1837) have been recorded together with all Gunton references from the England and Wales census from 1841 to 1911 (1901 for Scotland) and those from Ireland for 1901 and 1911. The one-name study also included numerous entries from Parish Registers, from overseas (United States, Australia, Canada and New Zealand)


A Gunton mailing list can be found at: My website can be found here