Show ContentsChesterton History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Chesterton family

The surname Chesterton was first found in Cambridgeshire, though the actual place of origin of the family is uncertain. The name is a habitational name, meaning that it was taken from a place where they lived, and presumably held some power; many names of this sort allow the family's place of origin to be pinned down very precisely, but Chesterton is a common place name in England; Chestertons exist in Cambridgeshire, Glouchestershire, Huntingdonshire, Oxfordshire, Staffordshire and Warwickshire.

The family could have originated and taken their name from any of these places or, more likely, the surname appeared around the same time in several of these places and there is more than one family Chesterton. The place-name itself comes from Old English and refers to a town or farmstead near an old Roman fort. Even the racial origin of the family is somewhat of a mystery; they crop up mere decades after the arrival of the Normans and the early occurrences of the name use the word "de," which is typically Norman, but some doubt remains; the family may in fact be Anglo-Saxon and predate the Normans.

Alternatively the name could have originated with Adam de Cestreton (d. 1269), "one of the justices itinerant in the reign of Henry III. He is said to have been the king's chaplain, and on 28 Nov. 1265 he received a grant for life of the mastership of the domus conversorum. " [1]

Early History of the Chesterton family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Chesterton research. Another 63 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1227 and 1416 are included under the topic Early Chesterton History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Chesterton Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Chesterton, Cestretona, Chestreton, Chestretoun and others.

Early Notables of the Chesterton family (pre 1700)

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

United States Chesterton migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Chesterton Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Thomas Chesterton, who arrived in America from Ireland in 1750

Canada Chesterton migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Chesterton Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Walter Chesterton was recorded in the 1871 Census of Ontario

Contemporary Notables of the name Chesterton (post 1700) +

  • Gilbert Keith "G.K." Chesterton (1874-1936), English novelist, poet, philosopher, dramatist and literary and art critic, often referred to as the "prince of paradox"; perhaps best known for his The Napoleon of Notting Hill (1904), Charles Dickens: A Critical Study (1906), The Man Who Was Thursday (1908), Father Brown stories (1910-1935), The Everlasting Man (1925)
  • Paul Chesterton, English stage and film actor
  • Joseph Henry Chesterton (1840-1883), English plant collector, best known for his successful search for orchids in South America having been sent by James Veitch & Sons
  • George Herbert Chesterton MBE (1922-2012), English cricketer who played first-class cricket between 1949 and 1966
  • Frank Chesterton, English badminton winner at the All England Open Badminton Championships in 1909, 1910 and 1912
  • Cecil Edward Chesterton (1879-1918), English journalist, editor of "The New Witness" (1912-1916), younger brother of G. K. Chesterton
  • Arthur Kenneth Chesterton (1896-1973), South African-born, English politician and journalist, cousin of G. K. Chesterton

  1. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print on Facebook