Charleston History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Charleston family

The surname Charleston was first found in Suffolk where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. The name Charleston itself comes ultimately from the Germanic personal name Carl, which was Latinized as 'Carolus'. Early forms of the name in Britain predate the Norman invasion, but some bearers of this name no doubt come from Norman stock. The suffix 'son' or 'ston' indicate a patronymic surname created from the name of a father or male relative. In Europe the name's popularity was in no small part due to the fame of Emperor Charlemagne (742-814) or 'Carolus Magnus' in Latin. The Saxon influence on English history diminished after the Battle of Hastings in 1066, but some Saxon surnames survived. The first record of a precursor to this family name was first referenced in the year 1208 when Carolus held estates in that shire.

Early History of the Charleston family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Charleston research. Another 120 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1253 and 1550 are included under the topic Early Charleston History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Charleston 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 Charleston include Charleston, Charleson, Charlson, Cherlson, Churlson and many more.

Early Notables of the Charleston family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Charleston Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Charleston migration to the United States +

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 Charleston or a variant listed above:

Charleston Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Ann Charleston, who arrived in Maryland in 1666
  • Ann Charleston, who landed in Maryland in 1666 [1]
Charleston Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • R. Charleston, recorded in Beaver county, Pennsylvania in 1851

Contemporary Notables of the name Charleston (post 1700) +

  • Mr. Robert Samuel Charleston B.E.M., British Volunteer Rescue Officer for St Ives Coastguard, was appointed the British Empire Medal on 8th June 2018, for voluntary service to the Coastguard Rescue Team [2]


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62310, 31 October 2019 | London Gazette, The Gazette, June 2018, https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/62310/supplement/B1


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