Altinstown History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
In ancient Scotland, Altinstown was a Strathclyde-Briton name for 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 Altinstown family
The surname Altinstown 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 Altinstown family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Altinstown research. Another 158 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1667, 1684, 1687, 1681, 1905 and 1683 are included under the topic Early Altinstown History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Altinstown Spelling Variations
In Medieval times, spelling and translation were not nearly so highly developed as today. They were generally carried out according to the sound and intuition of the bearer. For that reason spelling variations are extremely common among early Scottish names. Altinstown has been spelled Aldanston, Alston, Auldston, Alstounes, Alstone, Alstowne, Aldenston and many more.
Early Notables of the Altinstown 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 Altinstown Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Altinstown family to Ireland
Some of the Altinstown 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 Altinstown family
Unrest, poverty, and persecution caused thousands to look for opportunity and freedom in the North American colonies. The crossing was long, overcrowded, and unsanitary, though, and came only at great expense. Many Strathclyde families settled on the east coast of North America in communities that would form the backbone of what would become the great nations of the United States and Canada. The American War of Independence caused those who remained loyal to England to move north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. In the 20th century, Strathclyde and other Scottish families across North America began to recover their collective heritage through highland games and Clan societies. 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..
Related Stories +
The Altinstown 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)