Iston History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The Anglo-Saxon name Iston comes from when the family resided near a birch-covered headland. The surname Iston is derived from the Old English words bierce, meaning birch, and heafod, meaning head. 
Early Origins of the Iston family
The surname Iston was first found in Cheshire, at Birkenhead, a rising sea-port, market-town, and township, in the union, and Lower division of the hundred, of Wirrall. Another branch of the family was found at Backford, a parish, in the union of Great Boughton, partly in the Higher division of the hundred of Wirrall, and partly in the Lower division of the hundred of Broxton.
"During a great part of the 13th and 14th centuries, the manor was held by the Masseys, of Timperley; about the year 1580 it was sold to Thomas Aldersey, by whom it was soon afterwards alienated to the Birkenheads, who resided at Backford Hall until the family became extinct in the male line in 1724." 
Early History of the Iston family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Iston research. Another 77 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1350, 1400, 1560, 1590, 1571, 1572, 1553, 1614, 1608, 1614, 1617, 1696, 1616 and 1679 are included under the topic Early Iston History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Iston Spelling Variations
Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Iston include Birkenhead, Birkehead, Birkenheed, Birkenhedd, Birkead, Birkinhead and many more.
Early Notables of the Iston family (pre 1700)
Notables of the family at this time include Martin Birkhead (died 1590), an English politician from Wakefield, West Yorkshire, Member of the Parliament for Ripon in 1571 and 1572; George Birkhead or Birket, alias Hall, Lambton, and Salvin (c.1553-1614), an English Roman Catholic priest from County Durham who served as the archpriest of England from 1608 until his death in 1614; Henry Birkhead (1617?-1696), an English academic...
Another 67 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Iston Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Iston family
A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants: Francis Birkenhedd who settled in Barbados in 1635; William Birkenhead settled in Virginia in 1653; Joseph Birkhead settled in Philadelphia in 1860; George Birkinhead settled in North Carolina in 1701.
- Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
- Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.