Altainston History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
In ancient Scotland, the first people to use Altainston as a surname were the Strathclyde-Britons. It was a name someone who lived in Cumberland. Alternatively, the name could have been from the Old Norse, Hallstein; from the Flemish, Alsteens and appeared in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Alstan, Alestan; a personal name. 
In England, the name was derived from "als-ton, the hill by the sea-shore,"  and as Alston(e) appears as at least five different parishes or townships.
Early Origins of the Altainston family
The surname Altainston was first found in Cumberland, where they held the manor of Aldanstone. One of the first records of the name was "Jurdan de Aldanston [who] was juror on an inquisition held at Berwick on the lands of Lady Elena de la Zuche lying in the sheriffdom of Edinburgh, 1296." 
In the same year, Andreu de Haldanstone of Edinburghshire rendered homage to King Edward I after his conquest of Scotland. In the same century, the name had often been shortened to Alston, and in some cases lengthened to Haldanston. The Scottish branch at Craig Head in Lanarkshire and at Westerton in Dumbartonshire also assumed the spelling of Auldston and Alstounes.
Early History of the Altainston family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Altainston research. Another 158 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1667, 1684, 1687, 1681, 1905 and 1683 are included under the topic Early Altainston History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Altainston Spelling Variations
The origin of rules governing the spelling of names and even words is a very recent innovation. Before that, words and names were spelled according to sound, and, therefore, often appeared under several different spelling variations in a single document. Altainston has been spelled Aldanston, Alston, Auldston, Alstounes, Alstone, Alstowne, Aldenston and many more.
Early Notables of the Altainston family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family at this time was Charles Alston (1683-160), a Scottish scientific writer, born at Eddlewood, and educated at Glasgow. "On his father's death...
Migration of the Altainston family to Ireland
Some of the Altainston family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Altainston family
The persecution faced in their homeland left many Scots with little to do but sail for the colonies of North America. There they found land, freedom, opportunity, and nations in the making. They fought for their freedom in the American War of Independence, or traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. In both cases, they made enormous contributions to the formation of those great nations. Among them: Samuel and William Alston settled in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina in 1767; John Alston settled in Barbados in 1685; Rose Alston settled in New England in 1661. In Newfoundland, John Alston an immigrant from Liverpool, was married in St. John's in 1858..
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 Translation: Immoveable.