Scottish, northern Irish, and English: habitational name from any of the numerous places so called, found in the Scottish Borders and in various parts of England. The second element is in all cases Old English tūn ‘enclosure’, ‘settlement’.In the case of Linton in Northumberland the first element is a British river name, Lyne (related to Welsh lliant ‘stream’), while Linton in Kent is ‘estate associated with a man called Lill or Lilla’. The other places of this name normally have as their first element Old English lind ‘lime tree’ or līn ‘flax’, but occasionally perhaps hlynn ‘torrent’ or hlinc ‘hillside’. (On the basis of geographical situation the meaning ‘torrent’ would be appropriate to Linton near Skipton in West Yorkshire).
Dictionary of American Family Names © Patrick Hanks 2003, 2006.