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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


Heaton is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin and comes from the family once having lived in one of a variety of similarly-named places. Settlements named Heaton are in Northumberland and the West Riding of Yorkshire. Heaton Norris, Heaton under Horwich, Heaton with Oxcliffe, Great Heaton, and Little Heaton are all in Lancashire. Places called Capheaton and Kirkheaton are found in Northumberland, while settlements named Cleckheaton, Hanging Heaton, and Kirkheaton are all in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The surname Heaton belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names that is derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

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Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Heaton family name include Heaton, Heton and others.

First found in West Yorkshire at Heaton, the oldest place name in England so named. The village dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 where it was listed as Etone and literally meant "high farmstead." [1] The parish of Mirfield has an interesting story about its chapel and the family. "This place, at the time of the heptarchy, formed part of the parish of Dewsbury. It afterwards belonged to Sir John Heton, lord of the manor, whose lady, on her way to the parish church, before dawn, on Christmas-day, being attacked by robbers, and her attendant killed, the pope, on the intercession of her husband, who was then at Rome, granted permission to the family to build a chapel here, which subsequently became parochial." [2]


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Heaton research. Another 163 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1300 and 1372 are included under the topic Early Heaton History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Heaton Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Heaton family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 51 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Heaton surname or a spelling variation of the name include:

Heaton Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Nathanial Heaton settled in Boston in 1620
  • Samuel Heaton settled in Boston in 1634
  • Nathaniel Heaton, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1636
  • Robert Heaton, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1682
  • Eliza Heaton, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1682


Heaton Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Margaret Heaton, aged 28, landed in Pennsylvania in 1803
  • John Heaton, who landed in America in 1809
  • Edward Heaton, aged 32, landed in New York in 1812
  • Elizabeth, George, James, John, Robert, William Heaton, all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1865
  • David Heaton, who arrived in Colorado in 1894

Heaton Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Andrew Alexander Heaton, who landed in Canada in 1841

Heaton Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • James Heaton, a brush-maker, arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Samuel Evans Heaton, English convict from Warwick, who was transported aboard the "Argyle" on March 5th, 1831, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
  • Ann Heaton, English convict from York, who was transported aboard the "Angelina" on April 25, 1844, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • Mary Ann Heaton, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Angelina" on April 25, 1844, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia

Heaton Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • W. Heaton arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cashmere" in 1854
  • R. Heaton arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cashmere" in 1854
  • John Heaton arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "African" in 1860
  • Sarah A. Heaton arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "African" in 1860

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  • Leonard Dudley Heaton (1902-1983), American Surgeon General of the United States Army from 1959 to 1969
  • David Heaton (1823-1870), American politician, Congressional Representative from North Carolina
  • Patricia Heaton (b. 1958), American two-time Emmy Award winning actress, best known for her role on "Everybody Loves Raymond"
  • William Edward Heaton VC (1875-1941), English recipient of the Victoria Cross for his gallantry in the face of the enemy during the Second Boer War
  • Tom Heaton (b. 1983), English football goalkeeper, member of the England National Teams (2001-2009)
  • Mr. Edmund Heaton (1913-1941), Australian Acting Electrical Artificer 4th Class from Botany, New South Wales, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II on the 19th November 1941 and died during the sinking
  • Paul Heaton (b. 1962), British musician and songwriter, former member of The Housemartins
  • Sean William Michael "Mike" Heaton (b. 1966), British drummer for the English rock band Embrace
  • Michelle Heaton (b. 1980), British pop star, actress, television personality, personal trainer and glamour model


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  • Gone to Texas: A Compendium of the Dulaney, Haddox, Heaton, Holland and Martin Families by Mary Rebecca Scott.
  • The Heaton Families: 350 Years in America by Dean Heaton.
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  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  2. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  3. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  4. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  5. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  6. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  7. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  8. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  9. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  11. ...

The Heaton Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Heaton Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 9 February 2016 at 11:00.

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