Show ContentsFelton History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In ancient Anglo-Saxon England, the ancestors of the Felton surname lived in Felton, a place-name found in many locations throughout England. There are places named Felton in Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Northumberland, and Shropshire. Further research showed the name was derived from the Old English elements feld, which means field, and tun, which meant enclosure or farm, and later fort or town. It would have translated as "farm or village in open country." [1]

Early Origins of the Felton family

The surname Felton was first found in Norfolk where "the village [of Litcham], which is large, consisting of several streets, had formerly a market and some annual fairs, granted by Edward I. to Robert de Felton." [2]

In Whitchurch, or Felton, Somerset, "the name Filton, or Felton, is derived from a very old town situated to the north-west of the present village, in a forest or chace once called Filwood: a church having been erected on the site of an ancient chapel dedicated to St. White." [2]

Accordingly, the name was frequented in other areas of ancient Britain about the same time. John de Feltone was found in Nottinghamshire, 30 Edward I (in the 30th year's reign of Edward I); and William de Feltone was listed in Northumberland. William de Felton was rector of St. Mary Magdalen, Warham, Norfolk in 1349. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 list Johannes de Felton. [3]

Sir Thomas Felton (d. 1381), was "Seneschal of Aquitaine, the second son of Sir John Felton, Governor of Alnwick in 1314, who was summoned to Parliament in 1342, and was Lord of the Manor of Litcham, Norfolk. Sir John's father, Sir Robert, Governor of Scarborough Castle in 1311, was slain at Stirling in 1314. " [4]

Sir William Felton (d. 1367), was "Seneschal of Poitou, the son of Sir William Felton of Northumberland, who died about 1358, by his first wife. He was descended in the fourth generation from Roger or Robert Fitz-Pagan or Felton, brother of the William Fitz-Pagan who was ancestor of Sir Thomas Felton." [4]

The parish of Felton in Northumberland is named after this latter family. "King John caused a village here to be burnt, in 1216, as a punishment to the barons of Northumberland, who had done honour on the spot to Alexander, King of Scotland. " [2]

Early History of the Felton family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Felton research. Another 88 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1313, 1430, 1570, 1886, 1595, 1628, 1595, 1556, 1626, 1556, 1619, 1690, 1656 and 1660 are included under the topic Early Felton History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Felton Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Felton are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Felton include: Felton, Feltone and others.

Early Notables of the Felton family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include John Felton (fl. 1430), English divine, Fellow of St. Mary Magdalen College, Oxford, and professor of theology, and 'vicarius Magdalensis Oxonii extra muros.' Blessed John Felton (died 1570) was an English Catholic martyr, executed during the reign of Elizabeth I. He "was descended from an ancient family in Norfolk. He was a gentleman of large property, and resided at Bermondsey Abbey, near Southwark, Surrey. His wife had been maid of honour to Queen Mary, who just before her death recommended her to Queen Elizabeth. Indeed, Elizabeth held her in great respect, for they...
Another 208 words (15 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Felton Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Felton Ranking

In the United States, the name Felton is the 1,578th most popular surname with an estimated 19,896 people with that name. [5]

United States Felton migration to the United States +

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Felton or a variant listed above:

Felton Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Benjamin Felton, who settled in Salem Massachusetts in 1630
  • Nathaniel Felton, who settled in Salem in 1632
  • Nathaniel Felton, who landed in Salem, Massachusetts in 1633 [6]
  • Jon Felton, who landed in Virginia in 1637 [6]
  • Elinor Felton, who arrived in Virginia in 1637 aboard the ship "Tristram and Jane" [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Felton Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Richard Felton, who arrived in Virginia in 1702 [6]
  • Johann Valentine Felton, who arrived in New York, NY in 1709 [6]
  • Jane Felton, who landed in Virginia in 1723 [6]
  • Mathias Felton, who settled in Philadelphia in 1739
  • Henrich Felton, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1767 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Felton Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Herman E Felton, who landed in Mississippi in 1846 [6]
  • J Felton, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [6]
  • W T Felton, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [6]
  • J S Felton, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [6]
  • Fritz Felton, who landed in St Clair County, Illinois in 1870 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Felton migration to Australia +

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

Felton Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Felton who was convicted in Stafford, Staffordshire, England for life, transported aboard the "England"on 31st March 1832, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [7]
  • Miss Ann Felton, English convict who was convicted in Stafford, Staffordshire, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Emma Eugenia" on 22nd January 1846, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [8]
  • Samuel Felton, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hooghly" in 1846 [9]
  • Mr. Thomas Felton, English convict who was convicted in Salford, Manchester, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Bangalore" on 1st January 1850, arriving in Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia [10]
  • Mr. George Felton, British Convict who was convicted in Chelmsford, Essex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Dudbrook" on 17th November 1852, arriving in Western Australia [11]

New Zealand Felton migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Felton Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Charles Felton, aged 28, a carpenter, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rakaia" in 1879

West Indies Felton 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. [12]
Felton Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • John Felton, who settled in Barbados in 1680 with his wife, children and servants

Contemporary Notables of the name Felton (post 1700) +

  • Verna Felton (1890-1966), American actress, best-known for providing most of the female voices in numerous Disney animated films
  • Terry Lane Felton (b. 1957), retired American Major League Baseball pitcher for the Minnesota Twins
  • Samuel Morse Felton Sr. (1809-1889), American civil engineer and railroad executive, Superintendent of the Fitchburg Railroad (1843 to 1851) and President of the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad (1851 to 1865)
  • Raymond Bernard Felton Jr. (b. 1984), American NBA professional basketball player
  • Lindsay Marie Felton (b. 1984), American actress
  • John Brooks Felton (1827-1877), American jurist and politician, 14th Mayor of Oakland, California
  • Cornelius Conway Felton (1807-1862), American educator, regent of the Smithsonian Institution
  • Charles Norton Felton (1832-1914), American politician, Congressman and U.S. Senator from California
  • Rebecca Ann Latimer Felton (1835-1930), American writer, teacher, reformer, and briefly a politician who became the first woman to serve in the United States Senate
  • Alfred Felton (1831-1904), English-born, Australian entrepreneur, art collector and philanthropist
  • ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Frederick E Felton, British Able Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales (1941) and survived the sinking [13]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Nathaniel Felton, American Mess Attendant First Class working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he survived the sinking [14]

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  5. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  6. 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)
  7. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 26th April 2022).
  8. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 4th April 2022).
  9. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) HOOGHLY 1846. Retrieved from
  10. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 11th September 2020). Retrieved from
  11. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 23rd July 2021). Retrieved from
  13. HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from
  14. Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from on Facebook