Show ContentsColton History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Colton is part of the ancient legacy of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is a product of when the family lived in Colton. There are places named Colton in Staffordshire, Norfolk and North Yokshire. Although the Staffordshire origin is more common some families' names are derived from the Norfolk location.

Early Origins of the Colton family

The surname Colton was first found in Colton or Coulton, located in Staffordshire, North Yorkshire, Norfolk and Cumbria. The places had a variety of listings in the Domesday Book including Coletuna [1], Coletune (North Yorkshire) and Coltone (Staffordshire.) However, the meaning of the place names were essentially the same: "farmstead of a man called Cola or Koli" having derived from the Old English or Old Scandinavian personal name + tun. [2] The Cumbria placename was originally listed as Coleton in 1202, but its origins may have been much earlier.

One of the first records of the family was John Colton (d. 1404), Archbishop of Armagh, "said to have been born at Terrington in Norfolk. He was chaplain to William Bateman, Bishop of Norwich, who may have introduced him to Edmond Gonville, the founder of Caius and Gonville College, Cambridge, of which he was appointed the first master in 1348. " [3]

Early History of the Colton family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Colton research. Another 116 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1126, 1371, 1235, 1296, 1320 and 1404 are included under the topic Early Colton History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Colton Spelling Variations

The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Colton has been spelled many different ways, including Colton, Coulton and others.

Early Notables of the Colton family (pre 1700)

Another 39 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Colton Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Colton Ranking

In the United States, the name Colton is the 5,235th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [4]

Ireland Migration of the Colton family to Ireland

Some of the Colton family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 30 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 Colton migration to the United States +

Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Coltons to arrive in North America:

Colton Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Nicholas Colton who settled in Virginia in 1643
  • Niche Colton, who arrived in Virginia in 1643 [5]
  • George Colton, who landed in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1644 [5]
  • Ann Colton, who arrived in Virginia in 1654 [5]
  • Robert Colton, who landed in Virginia in 1665-1666 [5]
Colton Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William Colton, who settled in Virginia in 1774
  • Henry Colton, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1777 [5]
Colton Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • B Colton, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [5]
  • C Colton, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [5]
  • Amos, Charles, James, John, Thomas, and William Colton all, who arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1870
  • William H Colton, who arrived in Arkansas in 1889 [5]

Australia Colton migration to Australia +

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

Colton Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Ruby Colton, English convict from Wiltshire, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on April 1st, 1822, settling in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • William Colton, who arrived in Port Misery aboard the ship "Duchess of Northumberland" in 1839 [7]
  • Elizabeth Colton, who arrived in Port Misery aboard the ship "Duchess of Northumberland" in 1839 [7]
  • John Colton, who arrived in Port Misery aboard the ship "Duchess of Northumberland" in 1839 [7]
  • William Colton, aged 36, a labourer, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Sultana" in 1850 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Colton 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. [9]
Colton Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Colton, who settled in Barbados in 1679

Contemporary Notables of the name Colton (post 1700) +

  • Major-General Roger Baldwin Colton (1887-1978), American Air Communication Officer Air Technical Service Command (1944-1946) [10]
  • Chevi Colton (b. 1921), American stage, film and television actress
  • Sabin Woolworth Colton (1847-1925), the only private individual to ever own a chair on both the Philadelphia and New York Stock Exchanges
  • Frank Benjamin Colton (1923-2003), American chemist
  • John Colton KCMG (1823-1902), Australian politician, Premier of South Australia and philanthropist
  • Charles Caleb Colton (1780-1832), British cleric, writer and collector
  • Cyrus Colton MacDuffee (1895-1961), American Professor of Mathematics at University of Wisconsin who co-developed the Latimer-MacDuffee theorem
  • Colton James Brennan (1983-2021), American football quarterback
  • Colton Dunn (b. 1977), American comedian, actor, writer, and producer, best known for his role as Garrett on the NBC workplace comedy Superstore (2015–2021)
  • Colton Haynes (b. 1988), American actor and model, known for his roles in Arrow (2012), Teen Wolf (2011) and Superhero Fight Club (2015)

  1. Page, William (ed), A History of the County of Norfolk. London: Victoria County History, 1906. Print
  2. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  5. 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)
  6. State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1822 with 190 passengers. Retrieved from
  7. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) THE DUCHESS OF NORTHUMBERLAND - 1839. Retrieved from
  8. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SULTANA 1850. Retrieved
  10. Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, November 23) Roger Colton. Retrieved from on Facebook