Altown History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Altown is a name that came to England in the 11th century wave of migration that was set off by the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Altown family lived in Nottinghamshire and Staffordshire, where they held lands and estates for many years. They were granted these lands by William the Conqueror for their efforts at the Norman Conquest in 1066. The name is habitational in derivation, and comes from the Old English awiell, which means spring, and tun, which means enclosure or settlement.

Early Origins of the Altown family

The surname Altown was first found in Northumberland, Staffordshire, and Lancashire. Of the latter, we found more records than the other branches. At first, the family held estates at Bispham, a village within the borough of Blackpool as far back as the 14th century. Roger Dalton had thirteen children by four wives. This branch also held estates at Thurnham, again in Lancashire.

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had two listings for the family, both in Northumberland: Henry de Dalton; and William de Dalton. [1]

Of note was Lawrence Dalton who died in 1561 and was an officer of arms at the College of Arms in London. "He entered the College of Arms as Calais pursuivant extraordinary, became Rouge Croix pursuivant in 1546, Richmond herald in 1547, and Norroy king of arms by patent 6 Sept. 1557, though his creation as Norroy by Queen Mary at Somerset Place was postponed till 9 Dec. 1558." [2]

"The manor was subsequently held by Thomas Lonne, citizen and grocer of London, who, in the reign of Philip and Mary, sold it to the Daltons, of Bispham, which family continues to possess nearly the whole township." [3]

Some of the family were found in Scotland where they were "doubtless from Dalton in Northumberland. Mention was made c. 1315 of certain lands in Roxburgh, Kerton, etc., which had belonged to quondam William de Dalton (RSM., I, 14). William de Dalton was bailie of Aberdeen in 1368, Helisei de Dalton was a bailie there, 1396, and Thomas Dalton was admitted burgess of the town in 1409. " [4]

Early History of the Altown family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Altown research. Another 81 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1284, 1648, 1709, 1763, 1705, 1712, 1709, 1190, 1792, 1867, 1792, 1814 and 1874 are included under the topic Early Altown History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Altown Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Altown have been found, including Alton, Allton, Allten, Alten, Altoun, Althoun, Althan, Althaun, Aulton, Dalton and many more.

Early Notables of the Altown family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Michael Dalton (d. 1648?), English author of two legal works of high repute in the seventeenth century, the son of Thomas Dalton...
Another 29 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Altown Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Altown family to Ireland

Some of the Altown family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 104 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Altown family

For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Altown were among those contributors: Alexander, Anthony, James and Richard Alton all arrived in Philadelphia between 1850 and 1860.



  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ 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)


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