Show ContentsEccleston History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient history of the Eccleston name begins with the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the family resided in a region named Eccleston in Lancashire and Chester. The surname Eccleston is a topographic surname, which was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree. Habitation names form the other broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Other local names are derived from the names of houses, manors, estates, regions, and entire counties. As a general rule, the greater the distance between an individual and their homeland, the larger the territory they were named after. For example, a person who only moved to another parish would be known by the name of their original village, while people who migrated to a different country were often known by the name of a region or country from which they came.

Early Origins of the Eccleston family

The surname Eccleston was first found in Lancashire at Eccleston, a village and civil parish of the Borough of Chorley. This place gave name to a family as early as the reign of Richard I. Alan de Eccleston was listed as a tenant of Edward III and his pedigree ascends to the time of Henry III. This township is probably the Eglestun of Domesday Book of 1086. [1]

Another early record of the surname was Thomas of Eccleston (fl. 1250), a thirteenth century English Franciscan chronicler, best known for his "De Adventu Fratrum Minorum in Angliam." It tells the story of when Franciscan friars first came to England in 1224 to about 1258. He was known as "Brother Thomas" and was later given the title "of Eccleston." [2]

Early History of the Eccleston family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Eccleston research. Another 116 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1094, 1659, 1743, 1688, 1697, 1712, 1610, 1623, 1605, 1610 and 1611 are included under the topic Early Eccleston History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Eccleston 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 Eccleston include Eccleston, Ecclestone, Eccleton and others.

Early Notables of the Eccleston family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Thomas Eccleston (1659-1743), an English Jesuit of Eccleston Hall, Lancashire. He was the only son of Henry Eccleston, esq., of Eccleston Hall, Lancashire. "During the wars in Ireland, after the revolution of 1688, he held a captain's commission in King James's army. Being engaged in a duel which proved fatal to his antagonist, he was seized with remorse and determined to enter the religious state. Accordingly he returned to Rome, entered the jesuit novitiate of Sant' Andrea...
Another 84 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Eccleston Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Eccleston Ranking

In the United States, the name Eccleston is the 10,921st most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [3]

Ireland Migration of the Eccleston family to Ireland

Some of the Eccleston family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Eccleston 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 Eccleston or a variant listed above:

Eccleston Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Elizabeth Eccleston who settled in New England in 1706
Eccleston Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • E. Eccleston, who arrived in New York in 1823
  • Edward Eccleston, who arrived in New York in 1839 [4]
  • Mrs. Eccleston, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [4]
  • James and Henry Eccleston, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1860

Australia Eccleston migration to Australia +

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

Eccleston Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Eccleston, (b. 1817), aged 18, British Labourer who was convicted in Stafford, England for life for theft and assault, transported aboard the "Asia" on 5th November 1835, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land)1836 [5]
  • Robert Eccleston, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Asia" in 1851 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Eccleston (post 1700) +

  • Jennifer Eccleston (b. 1969), American television journalist, who has worked for CNN, Fox News and MSNBC
  • Samuel Eccleston S.S. (1801-1851), American clergyman of the Roman Catholic Church, 5th Archbishop of Baltimore (1834 to 1851)
  • John Eccleston, American politician, Presidential Elector for Maryland, 1796 [7]
  • H. Clinton Eccleston, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for Connecticut State House of Representatives from North Stonington, 1902 [7]
  • Harry Norman Eccleston OBE (1923-2010), English first full-time artist and designer of banknotes at the Bank of England from Coseley, West Midlands
  • Nathan Geoffrey Junior Eccleston (b. 1990), English football striker
  • Mr. Barry Eccleston O.B.E., British recipient of the Officer of the Order of the British Empire on 29th December 2018 for services to the United Kingdom aerospace and aviation industry [8]
  • John Eccleston, British puppeteer, writer and presenter, lead puppeteer of Rygel on Farscape
  • Christopher Eccleston (b. 1964), British three-time BAFTA Award nominated actor, best known for his role in the British television series Doctor Who

The Eccleston 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: Spero meliora
Motto Translation: I hope for better things.

  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  4. 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)
  5. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 28th January 2020). Retrieved from
  6. State Library of South Australia. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) ASIA 1851 from London 12 05 1851 and southampton with Captain Roskell, arrived Port Adelaide on 1-09-1851. Retrieved from
  7. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 28) . Retrieved from
  8. "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, on Facebook