Show ContentsAlters History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient Anglo-Saxon surname Alters came from the baptismal name Alder. As the naming tradition grew in Europe baptismal names began to be introduced in many countries. Baptismal names were sometimes given in honor of Christian saints and other biblical figures. There are very few Christian countries in Europe that did not adopt surnames from these religious figures. The name Alder meant wise warrior.

Early Origins of the Alters family

The surname Alters was first found in London and Middlesex, where the name meant 'son of the old wise warrior'. By the 16th century they had migrated north to Scotland to Haddington in East Lothian where they called themselves Alderston.

In Cumberland, Alston, the market-town and parish of Alston-Moor was home to some of the family in early times. "Mining in this district is of some antiquity, several charters having been granted to the miners of 'Alderston' in the 13th century. " [1]

"Alderson is a name of very frequent occurrence in the Richmond district of the North Riding. John Alderson was sheriff of the city of York in 1709. The name is also established in the adjacent county of Durham." [2]

Early History of the Alters family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Alters research. Another 49 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1544, 1750 and 1750 are included under the topic Early Alters History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Alters Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Alters family name include Alders, Alderson, Alderston, Alderstone, Aldirstone and many more.

Early Notables of the Alters family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Alters Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Alters migration to the United States +

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Alters surname or a spelling variation of the name include:

Alters Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Natys Alters, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1802 [3]
  • M Elis Alters, who arrived in America in 1837 [3]
  • Cord Alters, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1838 [3]
  • John H Alters, who landed in New York in 1843 [3]
  • Herm Alters, who arrived in America in 1850 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Alters Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Henry Alters, who arrived in Arkansas in 1906 [3]

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  3. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8) on Facebook