From the Greek name Khristophoros, from Khristos ‘Christ’ + pherein ‘to bear’. This was popular among early Christians, conscious of the fact that they were metaphorically bearing Christ in their hearts. A later, over-literal interpretation of the name gave rise to the legend of a saint who actually bore the Christ-child over a stream; he is regarded as the patron of travellers. In England the name was uncommon in the Middle Ages, but became very popular in the 16th century, especially in parts of the North.
English: habitational name from Helton in Cumbria, named in Old English probably with helde ‘slope’ + tūn ‘farmstead’, ‘settlement’, or possibly a variant of Hilton. This is a common name in TN, KY, OH, TX, and GA.