Show ContentsGarton History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Garton came to England with the ancestors of the Garton family in the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Garton family lived in Garston, Lancashire, a hamlet on the river Mersey. Here they held the title of Lords of the Manor of Garston, and from it took their name. There are several other locations so named in England and any individual case of the name may be a reference to the bearer's residence in one of these other places. The name of Garston, Lancashire derives from the Old English elements great, which means large or imposing, and stan, which means stone. Other places named Garston generally derive from the Old English elements goers or grass, which means grass, and tun, which means enclosure or settlement. This is a classic example of an English polygenetic surname, which is a surname that was developed in a number of different locations and adopted by various families independently.

Early Origins of the Garton family

The surname Garton was first found in Lancashire where they were Lords of the manor of Garston, a small hamlet on the Mersey. "At a very early period this place gave name to a local family, of whom Adam de Gerstan died in 1265." [1]

However, the first record was of Matthew de Garston who held land at Garston and the fourth part of the fishing on the River Mersey in 1130. Matthew was succeeded by Henry whose daughter Albrera gave to Henry of Walton one bovate of land. Gilbert de Garston also gave a bovate of land in Garston in 1199 to Roger, son of Osbertus of Aynosdale. Involved in this transaction was John, Earl of Morton, who confirmed this grant when he ascended the throne, King John.

Early History of the Garton family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Garton research. Another 38 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1600, 1641, 1640 and 1641 are included under the topic Early Garton History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Garton Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Garstone, Garston, Garstin, Garstine and others.

Early Notables of the Garton family (pre 1700)

Another 31 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Garton Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Garton Ranking

In the United States, the name Garton is the 9,132nd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [2]

Ireland Migration of the Garton family to Ireland

Some of the Garton family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 45 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Garton migration to the United States +

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Garton or a variant listed above:

Garton Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Stephen Garton, aged 35, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [3]
  • Ellinor Garton, who landed in Virginia in 1662 [3]
Garton Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Abraham De Garton, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1736 [3]
  • Felix Garton, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1749 [3]
  • Felix De Garton, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1749 [3]
Garton Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Garton, who arrived in New York in 1827 [3]
  • Francisco Garton, who landed in New Spain in 1837 [3]

Australia Garton migration to Australia +

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

Garton Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Garton, British Convict who was convicted in Derbyshire, England for 15 years, transported aboard the "Eden" on 12th March 1842, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Island) [4]

New Zealand Garton 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:

Garton Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Elizabeth Garton, aged 36, a housemaid, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Hannibal" in 1875

Contemporary Notables of the name Garton (post 1700) +

  • Brad Garton (b. 1957), American composer, Professor of Music at Columbia University
  • Ray Garton (b. 1962), American author of over 60 books, recipient of the World Horror Convention Grand Master Award (2006)
  • Zimry Garton, American politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Indiana 2nd District, 1910 [5]
  • Art Garton, American Democratic Party politician, Washington Democratic State Chair, 1949-50 [5]
  • Dr John Garton, English inventor and businessman, founder of Gartons Limited (1898), a public seed supply company
  • John Henry Garton (1941-2016), British Anglican bishop and theologian, Bishop of Plymouth (1996 to 2005)
  • George Alan Garton FRS (1922-2010), British biochemist
  • Adam Garton (b. 1962), former Australian rules footballer
  • Andrew Garton (b. 1962), Australian composer and multi-media artist
  • Arthur Stanley Garton (1889-1948), British gold medalist rower at the 1912 Summer Olympics
  • ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  3. 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)
  4. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 15th December 2021). Retrieved from
  5. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 18) . Retrieved from on Facebook