Compston History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The ancient roots of the Compston family name are in the Anglo-Saxon culture. The name Compston comes from when the family lived in Compton, a place-name found in numerous locales throughout England. Villages called Compton are found in Berkshire, Huntingdonshire, Surrey, Sussex and Wiltshire. The name probably sprang from all of these locales at one time or another. Many of the villages date back to the Domesday Book  where there were listed with names like Contune (Berkshire), Cunone (Huntingdonshire), and more.
However, the oldest listing was found in Compton Abbas, Dorset where it dates back before the Domesday Book to 956 as Cumtune. The name literally was derived from the Old English "cumb" + "tun" meaning "farmstead or village in a valley," so one can understand the many listings. 
Early Origins of the Compston family
The surname Compston was first found in Devon where they held a family seat at Compton Castle, a fortified manor house in the village of Compton. The original undefended manor house was built in the mid-14th century and was home to Sir Humphrey Gilbert (1539-1583), colonizer of Newfoundland and half-brother of Sir Walter Raleigh.
"In the parish of Marldon is the fine old fortified house known as Compton Castle. Once the seat of a family of that name, it came to the Gilberts of Greenway by marriage with a coheiress. Though long a farmhouse the ' castle ' is in very fair preservation. The gateway and chapel preserve their ancient character tolerably intact ; and the whole pile has a remarkably picturesque appearance." 
Another branch of the family claims descent from Warwickshire where "the Marquis of Northampton derives from Turchill, possessor of Arden, before the Conquest. His descendant Osbert, in 1169, assumed the name of Compton from his estate in the same county. " 
Another reference states "the family was seated at Compton, called 'in the Windgate,' soon after the Conquest."  "Philip de Compton is the first of the name who certainly held the manor of Compton, in the fifth of John." 
Early History of the Compston family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Compston research. Another 216 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1212, 1650, 1482, 1528, 1630, 1625, 1663, 1632, 1713, 1675, 1713, 1601, 1643, 1622, 1681, 1660, 1681, 1675, 1679, 1669, 1691, 1673, 1743, 1632, 1713, 1675 and 1713 are included under the topic Early Compston History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Compston Spelling Variations
One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Compston has appeared include Compton, Comptons, Competom, Comptown, Comptowne, Comptoun, Comptaun, Comptaune, Comptoune, Coompton, Combton, Combtons, Combtown, Combtaune, Wilmington and many more.
Early Notables of the Compston family (pre 1700)
Distinguished members of the family include Sir William Compton (c. 1482-1528), a prominent courtier during the reign of Henry VIII. A fictionalized William Compton was portrayed in 2007 on the television series The Tudors; William Compton, 1st Earl of Northampton (died 1630), known as Lord Compton, an English peer; Sir William Compton (1625-1663), an English royalist army officer; Henry Compton (1632-1713), Bishop of London from 1675 to 1713; Lord Spencer Compton, 2nd Earl of Northampton (1601-1643), an English soldier...
Another 79 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Compston Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Compston family
At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Compston arrived in North America very early: Thomas Compton settled in Roxbury, Massachusetts, in 1634; and was made a freeman of the colony in 1637. He moved to Boston the same year. John Compton was a wheelwright in Boston in 1638. William Compton settled in Ipswich in 1662.
Contemporary Notables of the name Compston (post 1700) +
- Major Robert John Orton Compston DSC DFC (1898-1962), English fighter pilot ace credited with 25 victories during World War I
- Archibald Edward Wones "Archie" Compston (1893-1962), English professional PGA golfer, having 6 tournament wins
- William Compston FAA FRS (b. 1931), Australian geophysicist, Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University
- Vice Admiral Sir Peter Maxwell Compston KCB (1915-2000), British Royal Navy officer, Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic (1968-1970)
- Martin Compston (b. 1984), Scottish actor and former professional footballer, known for his role as Ewan Brodie in Monarch of the Glen
Related Stories +
The Compston 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: Tout bien ou rien
Motto Translation: All well or nothing.
- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- ^ Worth, R.N., A History of Devonshire London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E.G., 1895. Digital
- ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.