Show ContentsHalton History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In ancient Anglo-Saxon England, the ancestors of the Halton surname lived in Halton, a very common place-name in England. The place-name is derived from the Old English terms halh, which means nook or corner of land, and tun, which meant farm or enclosure, and later came to mean fortress and town. The name means "farm in the nook or corner of land." The surname denotes a dweller at same. 1

John of Halton or Halghton (d. 1324), was Bishop of Carlisle, a canon of the Augustinian convent of St. Mary's, Carlisle, which was also the cathedral of the diocese. "In 1295 Halton was sent as an ambassador to King John of Scotland, and on 8 Nov. received a safe-conduct for his return. On 13 Oct. 1297 Halton was appointed custos of Carlisle Castle and of the royal domains. In 1320 Halton went on his last embassy to Scotland, and had his expenses refused by the king on the ground that he went for his own good as well as for that of the realm." 2

Early Origins of the Halton family

The surname Halton was first found in Halton, the original name of the parish of St. Dominick, Cornwall. "At the time of Doomsday Survey the district was taxed under the appellation of Halton, by which name a manor is still distinguished in this parish. Halton, which gave name originally to this parish, before St. Dominick either honoured or disgraced it with his name, is a manor, that so early as the thirteenth century belonged to an ancient family of this name. In the reign of Edward II. the male heirs becoming extinct, Halton was carried by an heiress to Wendyn, from which family it was carried by another heiress to Whitlegh, who was sheriff of Devon in the reign of Richard II. and whose grandson was sheriff of that county under Henry VII." 3

Algar de Haltona was registered in 1084, as was Walter de Halton in the Feet of Fines for Lincolnshire in 1270. Richard de Halton was recorded in the Subsidy Rolls for Cumberland in 1332 and later, Henry Halton was listed in the Assize Rolls for London in 1407. 4

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 proved the wide use of the name throughout ancient Britain: John de Halton, Yorkshire; Richard de Halton, Lincolnshire; and Simon de Halton, Salop (Shropshire.) Later the Yorksire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 included entries for Adam de Halton; Emma de Halton; and Johannes de Halton. 5

Early History of the Halton family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Halton research. Another 70 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1084, 1628, 1632, 1677, 1699 and 1704 are included under the topic Early Halton History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Halton 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 Halton 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 Halton include: Halton, Haltone, Hultahan, Haltom, Haltum and others.

Early Notables of the Halton family

Distinguished members of the family include

  • Immanuel Halton (1628-1699) was an English astronomer and mathematician from Greystoke, Cumberland, an associate of John Flamsteed

Halton Ranking

In the United States, the name Halton is the 13,504th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. 6

Ireland Migration of the Halton family to Ireland

Some of the Halton 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 Halton 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 Halton or a variant listed above:

Halton Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Halton, who arrived in Potomack in 1747
  • James Halton, who arrived in Maryland in 1775
Halton Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • E Halton, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1855 7

Canada Halton migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Halton Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Casper Halton, aged 2 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Juliet" departing 3rd July 1847 from London, England; the ship arrived on 28th August 1847 but he died on board 8

Australia Halton migration to Australia +

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

Halton Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Halton, English convict who was convicted in Lancaster, Lancashire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Dromedary" on 11th September 1819, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) 9
  • Jane Halton, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on December 14, 1835, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia 10
  • Josiah Halton, English Convict from Yorkshire, who was transported aboard the "Aboukir" on December 24, 1851, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia 11

New Zealand Halton 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:

Halton Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Richard Halton, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1874

Contemporary Notables of the name Halton (post 1700) +

  • William T. Halton, American fighter pilot and flying ace in the U.S. Army Air Forces, during World War II, credited with 11½ aerial victories
  • Mr. Richard Halton, British sheriff, held the joint position of Sheriff of Nottingham, England from 1506 to 1507
  • Brian Halton (1941-2019), English-born, New Zealand organic chemist, known for his investigation of highly strained and fused aromatic compounds
  • David Halton, acclaimed Canadian journalist now retired, son of Matthew Halton
  • David Halton Ph.D., Irish Professor Emeritus of Parasitology at Queen's University Belfast
  • Matthew Henry Halton (1904-1956), Canadian television journalist, most famous as a foreign correspondent for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation during World War II
  • Philip Halton Sherard (1851-1924), 11th Baron Sherard, English peer
  • Halton Christian "Chip" Arp (b. 1927), American astronomer, known for his 1966 Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies, and for discovering the Arp number

Halifax Explosion
  • Mrs. Annie May  Halton, Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion (1917) 12

  1. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  4. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  6. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  7. 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)
  8. Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 78)
  9. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th July 2021). Retrieved from
  10. State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Arab voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1835 with 132 passengers. Retrieved from
  11. State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 18) Aboukir voyage to Van Diemen's Land and Norfolk Island. [These convicts appear to have all landed in Van Diemen's Land], Australia in 1851 with 280 passengers. Retrieved from
  12. Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from on Facebook