Norton as far as I am aware is old English for north tun or north town. It is to be found in various place names, such as Chipping Norton. There is a village in the West country called Norton St Philip. I have never been but a fellow peer once kindly send me a picture postcard of the village.
People with the surname are to be found especially – as was the case in the 1880s – in Lincolnshire and East Anglia. Given that it is not uncommon in these areas, I was surprised to see that were only just over 12,000 Nortons listed in the UK (just over 9,000 in the 1881 census). We appear to be even more special than I thought.
I appreciate this post is likely to be of limited interest – unless your surname is Norton. However, given the number of Nortons in the USA (over 61,000) it may achieve a more international readership.