© J.H.Mathieson
The most common Anglo Saxon place names reference habitations, farmsteads or villages. For example the English landscape is peppered with place names in ton(tun), meaning farmstead or village.  The suffix ing would be added to a personal name meaning the son of, or dependants of, a person or group of people. For example Hastings (Hæstingas) is from the Old English, the people of of Hæsta. The ing(s) suffix can be singular or plural. The place names likely represented a group of people who settled at a specific location and the name of the group leader would then taken to represent the place. Anglo Saxon Surnames:   Knowlton(Chenoltone): Anglo Saxon place names may account for the origin of the Knowlton surname. A hamlet south west of Cranborne in Dorset, or a parish near Sandwich in Kent are likely sources. The etymology is based on the the Old English pre 7th Century cnoll, Middle English knol, knoll, hillock, plus the Old English tun. In Dorset a Norman church is found within neolithic earthworks and is recorded in the Domesday book as Chenoltone. It is also recorded as Cnolton in the 1168 Pipe Rolls of both Counties. Evidence of the Knowlton surname was still to be found in Dorset in 1881. Gillingham: Group names are often found compounded with other element such as ham (village home or manor). In this instance Gillingham was likely the homestead of the Gillingass (Gylla’s people).The place name appears in the Doomsday book as Gilingeham. Cottingham: Place names can have multiple occurrence leading to independent surname origins. Cottingham, recorded in the Doomsday book as Cotingeham, is found in the East Riding of Yorkshire and in Northants. In the case of Yorkshire the surname distribution is more dispersed while that in Northants is heavily represented in the Poor Law Union of Thrapston. Spalding: There are several possible etymologies for the place name Spalding recorded in the Domesday book as Spaldingis. The Oxford dictionary of place names suggests that it might mean; the settlement of the dwellers in Spald. Or that it might be from the OE spald, a ditch or trench, plus ingas. ‘Spaldingas’, it might also reference members of the tribe of ‘Spaldas' mentioned in the 7th Century 'Tribal Hidage'. Regardless of its origin, the surname distribution is not localized near the place name. This may reflect migration or alternative place names which are not recorded in present day or early records. Watling(Whatling) The surname has a number of possible origins with place names derived from personal names being the likely source. Reaney in English Surnames observed; OE Hwaeling, of Hwaetel a diminutive of names in Hwaet- or a derivative of OE hwaet "active, bold, brave". The unrecorded Hwaetel is the first element of Whatlington (Sussex). A Watling Farm is found in Sussex, and Watlington in both Sussex and Berkshire. However by far and away the largest concentration of the Watling surname is found in East Anglia where the two main spelling variants are found together. By their spatial association it would appear that they are related. The surnames may be traced to the town of Watlington found in Norfolk, or Watling Wood in Suffolk. In the Registration District of Horne(Suffolk) nearly one of every 100 persons carried one of the two surnames. Watling Street may be an alternative origin. An ancient trackway, it was improved by the Romans and later named in medieval times as Watling Street. There are very small clusters of the Watling surname found along Watling Street. As such they may represent independent origins of the surname.
Anglo Saxon Place Names: