Show ContentsBelton History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Belton family

The surname Belton was first found in various places named Belton in Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Rutland, Norfolk and Suffolk. [1] The place name literally means "farmstead in a glade or on a dry ground in a marsh," from the Old English "bel," + "tun." [2]

The Domesday Book of 1086 has early entries and spellings used at that time: Beltone, Lincolnshire and Beletuna, Norfolk. [3] Like the others, these place names evolved over the centuries to be named Belton. Attesting to the "marsh" origin above, we found this interesting entry: "At the hamlet of Sandtoft [in the parish of Belton, Lincolnshire], a church was built for the Dutch and French Protestants brought over by Cornelius Vermuyden, in the reign of Charles II., to assist in draining the marshes. In opposition to this undertaking, serious riots occurred: the church was materially injured, and soon fell into decay. The females of the hamlet who intermarried with the strangers retained their maiden names after marriage, not choosing to adopt those of their foreign husbands." [4]

Early feudal rolls provided the king of the time a method of cataloguing holdings for taxation, but today they provide a glimpse into the wide surname spellings in use at that time. In Norfolk, we found Hamon de Belton, 1257; and John de Belton, rector of Ovington, Norfolk, 1366. [5] Henry de Belton, pistor was a Feeman of York, 17 Edward II (during the seventeenth year of King Edward II's reign.) And the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed: John de Beletun, Suffolk; Gervase de Belton, Suffolk; and Nicholas de Belton, Suffolk. [6]

To the north in Scotland, the name had a similar origin, but originated in "Belton, in the parish of Dunbar, formerly itself an ancient parish. Henry de Beletun granted a charter of his lands of Kingissete (Kingside) to the monks of Melrose, 1231. John de Belton was one of the garrison of Edinburgh Castle in 1312." [7]

The "p" as in Pelton and the "b" as in Belton were interchangeable in Scotland and England.

Early History of the Belton family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Belton research. Another 113 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1231, 1312, 1775 and 1782 are included under the topic Early Belton History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Belton Spelling Variations

During the era when a person's name, tribe and posterity was one of his most important possessions, many different spellings were found in the archives examined. Belton occurred in many references, and spelling variations of the name found included Belton, Beltone, Beleton, Beldan, Belden, Belston, Belting, Beldon and many more.

Early Notables of the Belton family

Notable amongst the family name during their early history was

  • John Belton of Rockliffe

Belton Ranking

In the United States, the name Belton is the 3,619th most popular surname with an estimated 7,461 people with that name. [8]

Ireland Migration of the Belton family to Ireland

Some of the Belton family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 35 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Belton migration to the United States +

Gradually becoming disenchanted with life in Ireland many of these uprooted families sailed aboard the armada of sailing ships known as the "White Sails" which plied the stormy Atlantic. These overcrowded ships often arrived with only 60 to 70% of their original passenger list, many dying of illness and the elements, were buried at sea. In North America, early immigrants bearing the family name Belton, or a spelling variation of the surname include:

Belton Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Belton, (Bolton), aged 18, who arrived in Virginia in 1634 aboard the ship "Bonaventure" coming via St. Domingo [9]
Belton Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Janet Belton, who arrived in Carolina in 1774
  • Janet Belton, aged 20, who arrived in Carolina in 1774 [10]
Belton Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Belton, aged 45, who arrived in New York in 1812 [10]
  • James Belton, who landed in New York in 1826 [10]
  • James Belton, who arrived in New York state in 1826
  • Edmund Belton, who arrived in Missouri in 1841
  • Edmund Belton, aged 49, who arrived in Missouri in 1841 [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Belton migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Belton Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. George Belton U.E. who settled in Eastern District [Cornwall], Ontario c. 1783 [11]

Australia Belton migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Belton Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. David Belton, British convict who was convicted in Berkshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Calcutta" in February 1803, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, the settlement was listed as abandoned and most of the convicts transported to Tasmania on the "Queen" in 1804 [12]
  • John Belton, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Rajasthan" in 1838 [13]
  • Mr. Andrew Belton, (b. 1819), aged 24, Irish blacksmith who was convicted in Wicklow, Ireland for 7 years for larceny, transported aboard the "Constant" on 9th May 1843, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [14]
  • James Belton, English convict from Lincoln, who was transported aboard the "Anson" on September 23, 1843, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [15]
  • Daniel Belton, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Emily" in 1849 [16]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Belton migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Belton Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • William Belton, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Blue Jacket" in 1865
  • Eliza Belton, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Blue Jacket" in 1865

West Indies Belton migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [17]
Belton Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Jo Belton, aged 48, who arrived in Barbados in 1635 aboard the ship "Falcon" [10]
Belton Settlers in West Indies in the 18th Century
  • Angus Belton who settled in Barbados in 1745 after Culloden

Contemporary Notables of the name Belton (post 1700) +

  • Horace Belton (1955-2019), American CFL and NFL running back and Grey Cup champion from Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Howard C. Belton (1893-1988), American farmer, nineteenth Treasurer of the State of Oregon
  • Keith Da'Shawn "Thump" Belton (b. 1981), American football fullback
  • Joseph Belton, American inventor of the Belton flintlock (c. 1777)
  • Sharon Sayles Belton (b. 1951), American social worker, mayor of Minneapolis (1994-)
  • William Belton, American politician, U.S. Vice Consul in Winnipeg, 1943; U.S. Consul in Porto Alegre, 1949
  • Vanderbilt Belton, American politician, Candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Missouri, 1936
  • Sharon Sayles Belton (b. 1951), American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Minnesota, 1984, 1996; Mayor of Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1994-2001
  • Leon Belton, American Democratic Party politician, Presidential Elector for Florida, 2012
  • Howard Clair Belton (1893-1988), American Republican politician, Member of Oregon State House of Representatives, 1933; Member of Oregon State Senate, 1939-47; Delegate to Republican National Convention from Oregon, 1944, 1952, 1956 (member, Credentials Committee);
  • ... (Another 7 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Suggested Readings for the name Belton +

  • The Family of Edmund Smith Belton in America by Blair Belton.

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  5. Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print
  6. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  7. 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)
  8. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  9. Pilgrim Ship's of 1600's Retrieved January 6th 2023, retrieved from
  10. 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)
  11. Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  12. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th November 2020). Retrieved from
  13. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) RAJASTHAN 1838. Retrieved from
  14. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 9th March 2021). Retrieved from
  15. State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Anson voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1843 with 499 passengers. Retrieved from
  16. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The EMILY 1849. Retrieved from
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