Houlston History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Houlston family

The surname Houlston was first found in Shropshire at Halston, an extra-parochial liberty, in the hundred of Oswestry. "The Knights Templars had a preceptory here, dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, which subsequently belonged to the Hospitallers. Halston House is a handsome mansion, in front of which is a fine sheet of water, formed by a diversion of the channel of the river Perry." [1]

However, we must look to Cheshire to find some of the first entries for the family. Thomas Halstein was listed there in 1227 and the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273-1279 included a listing for John Halsteyn. The Subsidy Rolls of 1327 included an entry for William Halsteyn. A few years later, John de Halston was recorded in the Subsidy Rolls for Worcestershire in 1332. [2]

Early History of the Houlston family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Houlston research. Another 59 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1379, 1583, 1759 and 1847 are included under the topic Early Houlston History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Houlston Spelling Variations

Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Houlston include Hailstone, Halstone, Halston, Hailston, Helistones, Ailston, Ailstone, Aylston and many more.

Early Notables of the Houlston family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Houlston Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Houlston migration to the United States +

Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Houlston were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Houlston Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Robert Houlston, who landed in Maryland in 1673 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Houlston (post 1700) +

  • Richard Somerset Houlston FRS FMedSci (b. 1956), English clinical geneticist and Professor of Molecular and Population Genetics at the Institute of Cancer Research in London
  • Johnny Houlston (1917-1962), Welsh welterweight and middleweight boxer, Wales Welterweight Champion from 1938 until he enlisted in the Merchant Navy in 1939


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  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)


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