Altenstum History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
In ancient Scotland, the first people to use Altenstum 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 Altenstum family
The surname Altenstum 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 Altenstum family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Altenstum research. Another 158 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1667, 1684, 1687, 1681, 1905 and 1683 are included under the topic Early Altenstum History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Altenstum Spelling Variations
Before the printing press standardized spelling in the last few hundred years, no general rules existed in the English language. Spelling variations in Scottish names from the Middle Ages are common even within a single document. Altenstum has been spelled Aldanston, Alston, Auldston, Alstounes, Alstone, Alstowne, Aldenston and many more.
Early Notables of the Altenstum 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...
Another 26 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Altenstum Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Altenstum family to Ireland
Some of the Altenstum 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 Altenstum family
For Scottish immigrants, the great expense of travel to North America did not seem such a problem in those unstable times. Acres of land awaited them and many got the chance to fight for their freedom in the American War of Independence. These Scots and their ancestors went on to play important roles in the forging of the great nations of the United States and Canada. 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..
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The Altenstum Motto +
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.
- ^ Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
- ^ Charnock, Richard, Stephen, Ludus Patronymicus of The Etymology of Curious Surnames. London: Trubner & Co., 60 Paternoster Row, 1868. Print.
- ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)