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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, Irish


Ireland already had an established system of hereditary surnames when the Strongbownians arrived. Often the two traditions blended together quite well due to some of their basic similarities, but the incoming Anglo-Norman system brought in some forms that were uncommon amongst the Irish. One of these Anglo-Norman anomalies was the prevalence of local surnames, such as Alton. Local names were taken from the names of a place or a geographical feature where the person lived, held land, or was born. Originally, the place names were prefixed by de, which means from in French. This type of prefix was eventually either made a part of the surname if the place name began with a vowel or was eliminated entirely. The local surnames of these Strongbownian invaders referred to places in Normandy, or more typically England, but eventually for those Anglo- Normans that remained in Ireland, the nicknames referred to places or geographical features of the island: they became true local names. The Alton family appears to have originally lived in one of the various places called Alton in England. The name usually means old farmstead or farmstead at the source of a river. The surname Alton belongs to the class of topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees. The modern form of the surname is D'Alton derived from the original Gaelic form of the surname de Dalatún.

Alton Early Origins



The surname Alton was first found in Alton, England where one source claims a Walter fled to "from France having incurred the wrath of the French king by secretly marrying his daughter."[1]CITATION[CLOSE]
MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
Another source has a clearer version of origin, namely: "that Sir Waltero de Aliton, a Frenchman, aspiring to gain the affections of his king's daughter, so incurred the displeasure of her father, that, to avoid the fury of an incensed Monarch, Sir Walterio, with his lady, privately, retired into Ireland." This same Walterio fought so valiantly that he was made "governor of the borders of Meath" where he "acquired great estates and possessions." [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
Essentially, the origins are similar; Walter (Walterio) fled with the king's daughter to England (Ireland.) We will probably never know which rendition is true, but we do know that the surname was in Ireland as early as the 13th century, so much so that the name had a Gaelic version: Dalatún.

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Alton Spelling Variations


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Alton Spelling Variations



Medieval scribes and church officials spelled the names as they sounded, so a name was often spelled many different ways during the lifetime of a single person. The investigation of the origin of the name Alton revealed many spelling variations including Dalton, Alton, Daltone, D'Alton, Daulton, Daltoun, Altown, Altoun, Altowne, Altone, Daltowne, Daltoune, Dalten, Daltin, Dallton and many more.

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Alton Early History


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Alton Early History



This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Alton research. Another 175 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1369, 1561, 1610, 1679, 1659, 1679, 1792 and 1867 are included under the topic Early Alton History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Alton Early Notables (pre 1700)


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Alton Early Notables (pre 1700)



Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Alton Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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The Great Migration


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The Great Migration



The Irish emigration during the late 18th and 19th century contributed to the melting pot of nationalities in North America, and the building of a whole new era of industry and commerce in what was seen as a rich, new land. Ireland's Great Potato Famine resulted in the worst economic and social conditions in the island's history. And in response to the hunger, disease, and poverty, during this decade the total number of emigrants to leave for North America rivaled all the previous years combined. Those from this decade that arrived on North American shores were not warmly welcomed by the established population, but they were vital to the rapid development of the industry, agriculture, and infrastructure of the infant nations of the United States and what would become Canada. Research into early immigration and passenger lists has shown many people bearing the name Alton:

Alton Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Geo Alton, who landed in Virginia in 1811
  • W S Alton, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • Maria G Alton, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • Alexander, Anthony, James and Richard Alton all arrived in Philadelphia between 1850 and 1860
  • Samuel Alton, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1861
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Alton Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century

  • Estiennette Alton, who landed in Montreal in 1659
  • Etiennette Alton, who arrived in Montreal in 1659

Alton Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Miss. Ann Alton, aged 3 who emigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Bridgetown" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle on 29th August 1847 [3]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 12)

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Contemporary Notables of the name Alton (post 1700)


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Contemporary Notables of the name Alton (post 1700)



  • David Gordon Alton (1846-1893), American professional baseball umpire active from 1871 to 1875
  • Robert Alton (1906-1957), American Tony Award winning dancer and choreographer, best known for discovering Gene Kelly, for his collaborations with Fred Astaire, best known for his work on White Christmas (1954) and Till the Clouds Roll By (1946)
  • Joseph W. Alton Jr. (1919-2013), American politician, Anne Arundel County Executive (1965-1974)
  • John Alton A.S. C. (1901-1996), born Johann Altmann, Austrian-born, American Academy Award winning cinematographer for An American in Paris (1951)
  • Jess Alton, American Democrat politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Iowa 7th District, 1942
  • Davis Alton, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1860
  • Ernest Henry Alton (1873-1952), Irish university professor and academic, Provost of Trinity College, Dublin (1942–1952)
  • Roger Alton (b. 1947), English journalist, current executive editor of The Times, former editor of The Independent and The Observer
  • David Patrick Paul Alton KCSG, KCMCO (b. 1951), Baron Alton of Liverpool, a British politician
  • Ewan Beresford Seaton Alton, British statesman and diplomat

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Motto


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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: Tristus et fidelis
Motto Translation: Sad and faithful


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Alton Family Crest Products


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Alton Family Crest Products




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See Also


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See Also




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Citations


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Citations



  1. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
  2. ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
  3. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 12)

Other References

  1. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  2. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  3. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  4. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  5. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  6. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  7. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
  8. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  9. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  10. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  11. ...

The Alton Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Alton 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 4 November 2015 at 10:39.

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