Origins of the Singletons.
The Singleton families probably all trace their roots back to Huck de Singleton - around 1100 AD. He was the ancestor of the Singleton families of Lancashire which at one time held large estates in Amounderness. - a part of Lancashire county in Northwest England.
The Domesday map prepared for William the Conqueror in 1086. The shaded portion indicates Lancashire.
Here's a close-up of the map for the area northwest of Prestun (modern-day Preston), Singletun was about 20 km (12 miles approximately) from Preston.
The name Singleton underwent several changes - Synglentonam, Schingeltona, Singleton and Syngleton. Around 1245 AD, it is spelled Singilton and Sengelton. These unusual spellings correspond to various spellings of the word Shingle "a thin piece of wood used as a house tile". Tun means an enclosed piece of land surrounded by (surrounding?) a village, hamlet, or a single dwelling.
The name Singletun was used for the area centuries before Huck appears. Apparently a manor or "town" having shingles instead of thatching was noteworthy.
At the time of King Henry II (1154 - 1189) Ughtred or Uctred (Son of Huck) is frequently mentioned in various charters and records, usually being referred to as Uctred de Singleton).
We have no direct trace of our ancestry to Huck or Uctred. Our earliest proveable ancestor was a Thomas Singleton of Little Carleton, which was about 3 miles northwest of Singleton. Thomas' son was a John Singleton, born about 1863 in either Little Carleton or Preston.
That doesn't mean we aren't descended from Huck, merely that we can't dot all the i's and cross all the t's in tracing our roots. The Singletons from Lancashire were numerous and apparently quite well off.
One of the ancestral homes, built sometime in the 12th century, was known as Broughton (tower) near Preston. This hall was well fortified including a moat. About 1615 Broughton was sold to a Richard Langton. It was torn down about 1800 and on the site is a modern farmhouse.
Perhaps the most famous of the ancestral homes was "Chingle Hall". The hall was built about 1260 by Adam de Singleton. There is some evidence that the hall was a scene for clandestine Catholic masses.
About 1535, Henry VIII broke from the Catholic Church and set himself up as head of the Church of England. Most of the Singletons remained staunch Catholics.
It seems that many of our ancestors, Singletons, Brewsters and even George and Hannah Burridge, were troubled by the Church of England. Among the Singletons, several were imprisoned and/or had their property confiscated for hiding priests or holding a private mass. We can blame their stubbornness for losing our fortune.
Chingle Hall is said to be haunted, as was Broughton Tower. See my story here.
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