The theory is that the Hintons and Huntons were all originally of the same stock. Presumably Hunton was the older spelling. The name probably had its origin in Flanders, from whence one Peter Hunton went to England as a retainer in the train of Philippa, daughter of William III, Earl of Hainault, when she married King Edward III of England. Peter settled in Hampshire, where it is supposed he established a big family. Little record can be found of the family, however, until the time of Queen Elizabeth, when arms were granted to William Hinton, a London merchant, and a descendant of old Peter Hunton.
The southern Huntons of this country, a distinguished family, say that their ancestor was knighted in the time of Queen Elizabeth, and it is possible that they are of the same original stock as the American Hintons.
The New England Huntons have a tradition in their family that their early ancestors fled from France at the time of the revocation of the edict of Nantes to the Island of Jersey, and from Jersey went to the New England colonies.
But there is no way of finding out at this date just what the origin of the family really was. The name is from Hund, a hound or dog, and ton, a generic name for place. Hence Hunton meant first a place devoted to hunting. The priory of Hunton in England was so named because hunting with dogs was indulged in there. For this same reason, several places in England were named Hunton, and it is not at all improbable that some families of the name took it because, at the time when last names came into fashion, they happened to be living in a parish named Hunton.
Hanton, Henton, or Hynton are doubtless all from the same source.