LostLangtons is run by David and Joel Langton (Father and Son) from the UK, and Danny Langton, a fellow Langton researcher, and friend, from Canada.
LostLangtons began when David and Joel were discussing their family tree, which in 2009 amounted to this single page tree, recorded by David's aunt Phyll and her daughter Lynda, taking us back to 1679 in Newbury, Berkshire. But there was no Langton village nearby, so we knew our family had come from elsewhere before 1679. But where?
As well as wanting to get back further in time and geography, we were keen to figure out which Langton village we had descended from - we knew of some in Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and Westmorland, but which had our direct-line ancestors lived circa 1100AD, and taken their name from?
David had also taken a DNA test back in 2004 when it was a very new idea in the world of genealogy. But without anyone to compare his result against, it's value remained to be seen.
We decided that the only way we would ever know where we came from was if we started researching all the ancient Langtons, starting from the Norman invasion 1066, studying Domesday book and other early manuscripts, and work our way down to 1679 until we made a link to our family in Newbury. Over the years David had also recorded several Langtons scattered across England in various notebooks, and this also aided our early research.
When we started this we thought there were no more than a half dozen Langton villages, and therefore less than a half dozen unique Langton families that we would have to trace. But even the first family we started tracing turned out to be a mammoth task and we soon realised that although only one of these families would turn out to be ours, the research would be so useful to other Langtons who descended through those trees. The information we were collating was also getting difficult to handle and visualise.
So we decided to create a website in January 2010, a central repository of reliable information on the Langtons of the globe, freely available to all those Langtons and their relations, and as a legacy for future generations. And we hoped these people would find the site by searching the internet and when they did, that they would get in contact through the site, and share their family histories, trees, stories etc. and we could combine it all into the LostLangtons database. And you did; you got in contact and helped make LostLangtons the huge resource it now is.
The majority of our work has been conducted over the internet, accessing records at archives, contacting others researching the langton family, but also sifting through old books, deeds, wills, etc.
Danny made contact and came on-board early on in 2011, and after much earnest research from us all, it became clear that there were actually somewhere between 10 and 20 distinct Langton families in total, all spread across the globe. Our aims remained the same, but the task became more complex.
Danny had his DNA tested too, and other Langton contacts followed his lead. Before long we started getting matches, enabling us to prove relationships between distantly related Langtons, even though they never met, even though their common ancestor may have been a hundred or several-hundred years ago.
We also recognised that the benefit of a place-name surname like Langton is that if we could trace just one person from each Langton family back to their village of origin, that anyone who tested and matched that person's DNA profile would also come from the same village originally, so even if they knew nothing of their family tree at all and were born on the other side of the world, we would be able to tell them which Langton village they came from; where their ancestors lived circa 1100AD, just from a painless cheek swab. We wouldn't need to trace each family line back to the point of origin, just one member of each family. So far as we know, we are the only people doing anything like this on any place-name surname, anywhere in the world.
We discovered that some villages that are now called Lenton, Lanton and Longton were originally called Langton. We also discovered that some surnames including Landon and Langston(e) had originally been Langton. We also observed other names which may be linked with Langton in some way including Laughton, Langthorne and Longhorn. Both village names and surnames can drift in spelling and pronunciation over the centuries
We are now in contact with two- or three-hundred Langton families worldwide, from all parts of the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Argentina, Brazil...the list goes on. And many of these contacts have shared what they know, many having contributed significant amounts that account for years of research that they or their relatives have conducted.
As well as data, some have contributed financially which has been a great benefit in covering the running costs of the website and in gaining access to new records which have allowed big discoveries to be made. For instance, one large donation allowed us to aquire copies of all the historic Langton records held by the Royal College of Arms, forming part of our exhaustive shields work.
To all that have contributed facts, articles, genealogical lines etc. or have generously donated funds to help support this website, we want to say Thank You! Without your help these pages would not be what they are today.
And the work continues.