Lyston History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Scottish history reveals Lyston was first used as a surname by the Strathclyde-Briton people. It was a name for someone who lived at Liston, an old barony, now included in the parish of Kirkliston. "This parish, of which about one-fourth lies in the county of Edinburgh, and three-fourths in that of Linlithgow, was formerly called Temple-Liston, an appellation partly acquired from the knights Templars, who obtained the chief lands in the twelfth century. The ancient name of Liston is supposed to have been derived from some considerable family residing here, or from the Celtic term lioston, signifying "an inclosure on the side of a river," and exactly answering to the locality. Upon the dissolution of the fraternity of Knights Templars, the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem became owners of their large estates in this district, which they held till the Reformation." [1]

Early Origins of the Lyston family

The surname Lyston was first found in Kirkliston, a parish, partly in the county of Edinburgh, but chiefly in that of Linlithgow. One of the first records of the family was Roger de Liston, who witnessed a charter by Richard, bishop of St. Andrews in 1163, and again, before 1173, he witnessed the gift of the church of Hadintona by the same bishop. About 1260, Robert de Liston was chaplain of William, bishop of St. Andrews. [2]

Further to the south, some of the family could have originated in the parish of Liston in the union of Sudbury, hundred of Hinckford in Essex. In fact, the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273, list Thomas de Liston as holding lands there at that time. The same rolls list Geoffrey de Lyston in Cambridgeshire. [3]

The Feet of Fines of 1235-1236 listed Geoffrey de Liston in Essex and later John de Liston was listed in the Feet of Fines for Surrey for 1307-1309. [4]

Early History of the Lyston family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Lyston research. Another 127 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1163, 1296, 1334, 1501, 1482, 1668, 1794 and 1847 are included under the topic Early Lyston History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Lyston Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that rules have developed and the process of spelling according to sound has been abandoned. Scottish names from before that time tend to appear under many different spelling variations. Lyston has been spelled Liston, Lyston, Listen and others.

Early Notables of the Lyston family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Lyston family to Ireland

Some of the Lyston family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 31 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Lyston migration to the United States +

Unwelcome in their beloved homeland, many Scots sailed for the colonies of North America. There, they found land and freedom, and even the opportunity to make a new nation in the American War of Independence. These Scottish settlers played essential roles in the founding of the United States, and the shaping of contemporary North America. Among them:

Lyston Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Leopold Lyston, aged 28, originally from London, England, arrived in New York in 1911 aboard the ship "Philadelphia" from Southampton, England [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Lyston (post 1700) +

  • John Michael Lyston (1867-1909), American Major League Baseball player who played two games from 1891 to 1894
  • J.R. Lyston, American actor, known for his roles in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (2002), The Sorcerer of Stonehenge School (2005) and Star Control 3 (1996)
  • Brianna Lyston, Jamaican contemporary sprint athlete

The Lyston Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Poco a poca
Motto Translation: By little and little.

  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ 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)
  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. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch ( : 6 December 2014), Leopold Lyston, 26 Aug 1911; citing departure port Southampton, arrival port New York, ship name Philadelphia, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.). on Facebook
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