Attenstall History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Attenstall family

The surname Attenstall was first found in Yorkshire where the family claim descendancy from Robert de Saltonstall who held lands in Warley, near Halifax, Yorkshire in 1274.

While this is the generally accepted origin of the family, two sources claim the family could have originated at Salternstall in Kent which literally meant "salt works place." [1] [2]

The American colonist Sir Richard Saltonstall (1586-1661) who led a group of English settlers up the Charles River to settle in what is now Watertown, Massachusetts in 1630 was a nephew of the Lord Mayor of London Richard Saltonstall (1517-1600.) The latter claimed descendancy from Yorkshire. In fact, Sir Richard served as a Justice of the Peace for the West Riding of Yorkshire and was Lord of the Manor of Ledsham before his departure for America.

Early History of the Attenstall family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Attenstall research. Another 80 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1517, 1600, 1586, 1661, 1630, 1639, 1707, 1692, 1666, 1724, 1708 and 1724 are included under the topic Early Attenstall History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Attenstall Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Attenstall include Saltonstall, Salton, Saltonston and others.

Early Notables of the Attenstall family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Richard Saltonstall (1517-1600), Lord Mayor of London. His nephew Sir Richard Saltonstall (1586-1661) led a group of English settlers up the Charles River to settle in what is now Watertown, Massachusetts in 1630. Sir Richard's grandson was Col. Nathaniel Saltonstall (c. 1639-1707), a colonial judge who resigned from his...
Another 56 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Attenstall Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Attenstall family

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Attenstall or a variant listed above: Andrew Hutchins Mickle Saltonstall of Berkeley Springs who settled in West Virginia about 1630; Sir Richard Saltonstall settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1630.



The Attenstall 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: Teneo tenuere majores
Motto Translation: I hold (what) my ancestors held.


  1. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print


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