Hortan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient roots of the Hortan family name are in the Anglo-Saxon culture. The name Hortan comes from when the family lived in one of the many places called Horton; settlements of this name are particularly common in Yorkshire. The surname Hortan belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

There are two possible origins of the name: "dirty or muddy farmstead," from the Old English "horu" + "tun" and "hill frequented by harts or stags," from the Old English "heorot" + "dun." [1]

Early Origins of the Hortan family

The surname Hortan was first found in the West Riding of Yorkshire at Thornton, a chapelry, in the parish and union of Bradford, wapentake of Morley. "Thornton Hall, the property of the Horton family, an ancient quadrangular structure of great size, and formerly of considerable importance, is now occupied as farm-buildings and cottages." [2]

Over in Horton, in Northumberland another branch of the family was found. "Possessions were anciently held here by the knightly family of Horton," [2] and at Horton in the West Riding of Yorkshire, more early records of the family were found. "In the reign of Henry II., the manor was granted by Robert de Lacy to the ancestor of the Hortons." [2]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had the following entries for the family: Thomas de Horton in Devon; William de Horton in Kent; and Adam de Horton in Cambridgeshire. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed: Emma de Horton; and Dionisia de Horton. [3]

Some of the family were found in Scotland in early times: "Pieres de Hortone of Edinburghshire who rendered homage in 1296 derived his name from one of the many places named Horton in England, perhaps from one of the three places of the name in Yorkshire." [4]

Early History of the Hortan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hortan research. Another 235 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1210, 1296, 1764, 1764, 1821, 1784, 1841, 1806, 1823, 1673, 1603, 1649, 1649, 1660, 1696, 1756 and 1714 are included under the topic Early Hortan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hortan Spelling Variations

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Hortan has appeared include Horton, Horten and others.

Early Notables of the Hortan family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Thomas Horton D.D. (died 1673), an English clergyman, Professor of Divinity at Gresham College in London, and President of Queens' College, Cambridge. [5] Major Thomas Horton (1603-1649) was an English soldier in the parliamentary army during the English Civil War from Gumley, Leicestershire. Horton was granted the confiscated lands of a deposed Royalist and was Commissioner of...
Another 63 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hortan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Hortan family

At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Hortan arrived in North America very early: Robert Horton settled in Virginia in 1648; Isaac Horton settled in Virginia in 1636; Barth Horton settled in Virginia in 1638; Robert Horton settled in Barbados in 1670..



  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.
  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. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  5. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print


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