An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
The proud Upton family originated in Cornwall, a rugged coastal region in southwestern England. In early times, people were known by only a single name. However, as the population grew and people traveled further afield, it became increasingly necessary to assume an additional name to differentiate between bearers of the same personal name. The manner in which hereditary surnames arose is interesting. Local surnames are derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. The Upton family originally lived in Cornwall, in the village of Upton. which literally means "higher farmstead or village," from the Old English words "upp" + "tun." 
The surname Upton was first found in Cornwall at Upton, a hamlet that dates at least back to the Domesday Book of 1086.  While there are numerous place so named in England, it is in this area where "an ancient Cornish family, said to have been originally of Upton, in that county, or, according to Prince in his Worthies of Devon, named from Upton in parish of Collumpton in Devonshire."  Another reference postulates: "they were probably descended from Ralph Fitz-Stephen temp Henry II, and from the arms appears to be of De la Folie of Normandy." 
Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Upton, Uppeton and others.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Upton research. Another 251 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1080, 1218, 1308, 1620, 1453, 1590, 1641, 1625, 1641 and 1687 are included under the topic Early Upton History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 107 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Upton Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the Upton family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 51 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.
A look at the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Upton:
Upton Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Upton Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Upton Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Upton Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
Upton Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
Upton Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Semper paratus
Motto Translation: Always prepared.
The Upton Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Upton Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.
This page was last modified on 13 December 2015 at 01:29.