Pelton History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Pelton family

The surname Pelton was first found in various places named Belton in Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Rutland, Norfolk and Suffolk. [1] The place name literally means "farmstead in a glade or on a dry ground in a marsh," from the Old English "bel," + "tun." [2]

The Domesday Book of 1086 has early entries and spellings used at that time: Beltone, Lincolnshire and Beletuna, Norfolk. [3] Like the others, these place names evolved over the centuries to be named Belton. Attesting to the "marsh" origin above, we found this interesting entry: "At the hamlet of Sandtoft [in the parish of Belton, Lincolnshire], a church was built for the Dutch and French Protestants brought over by Cornelius Vermuyden, in the reign of Charles II., to assist in draining the marshes. In opposition to this undertaking, serious riots occurred: the church was materially injured, and soon fell into decay. The females of the hamlet who intermarried with the strangers retained their maiden names after marriage, not choosing to adopt those of their foreign husbands." [4]

Early feudal rolls provided the king of the time a method of cataloguing holdings for taxation, but today they provide a glimpse into the wide surname spellings in use at that time. In Norfolk, we found Hamon de Belton, 1257; and John de Belton, rector of Ovington, Norfolk, 1366. [5] Henry de Belton, pistor was a Feeman of York, 17 Edward II (during the seventeenth year of King Edward II's reign.) And the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed: John de Beletun, Suffolk; Gervase de Belton, Suffolk; and Nicholas de Belton, Suffolk. [6]

To the north in Scotland, the name had a similar origin, but originated in "Belton, in the parish of Dunbar, formerly itself an ancient parish. Henry de Beletun granted a charter of his lands of Kingissete (Kingside) to the monks of Melrose, 1231. John de Belton was one of the garrison of Edinburgh Castle in 1312." [7]

The "p" as in Pelton and the "b" as in Belton were interchangeable in Scotland and England.

Early History of the Pelton family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pelton research. Another 113 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1231, 1312, 1775 and 1782 are included under the topic Early Pelton History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pelton Spelling Variations

Although the name, Pelton, appeared in many references, from time to time, the surname was shown with the spellings Belton, Beltone, Beleton, Beldan, Belden, Belston, Belting, Beldon and many more.

Early Notables of the Pelton family (pre 1700)

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

Pelton Ranking

In the United States, the name Pelton is the 5,941st most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [8]

Ireland Migration of the Pelton family to Ireland

Some of the Pelton family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 35 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 Pelton migration to the United States +

Gradually becoming disenchanted with life in Ireland many of these uprooted families sailed aboard the armada of sailing ships known as the "White Sails" which plied the stormy Atlantic. These overcrowded ships often arrived with only 60 to 70% of their original passenger list, many dying of cholera, typhoid, dysentery or small pox. In North America, some of the first immigrants who could be considered kinsmen of the Pelton family name Pelton, or who bore a variation of the surname were

Pelton Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • George Pelton, who arrived in Virginia in 1622 [9]
  • John Pelton, who arrived in Maryland or Virginia in 1672 [9]

Canada Pelton migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Pelton Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • James, Pelton Jr., who landed in Canada in 1828
  • Rollin H Pelton, who arrived in Canada in 1832
  • Elijah Pelton, who landed in Canada in 1841
  • Phineas, Pelton Jr., who landed in Canada in 1841

Australia Pelton migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Pelton Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Samuel Robert Pelton, aged 39, a carpenter, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Switzerland"
  • Alfred Francis Pelton, aged 18, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Switzerland"

Contemporary Notables of the name Pelton (post 1700) +

  • Joe Pelton (b. 1977), American business analyst and poker tournament player, as of 2008, his total live tournament winnings exceed 2,200,000
  • Guy Ray Pelton (1824-1890), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York (1855-1857)
  • Jack J. Pelton, American former CEO of Cessna Aircraft Company
  • Elizabeth Anne Pelton (b. 1993), American seven-time gold medalist swimmer
  • Lester Allan Pelton (1829-1908), American inventor of the Pelton water wheel, at that time the most efficient design of the impulse water turbine, awarded the Elliott Cresson Medal, recently inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame
  • Agnes Lawrence Pelton (1881-1961), American modernist painter
  • Marvin Lee Pelton (b. 1950), American academic administrator and college president
  • Shawn Pelton (b. 1963), American studio and session drummer
  • Ronald William Pelton (b. 1942), American National Security Agency (NSA) intelligence analyst
  • Robert Young Pelton (b. 1955), Canadian author, journalist and documentary filmmaker

Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. Benjamin David J. Pelton (d. 1914), Canadian Assistant Steward from Canada who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and survived the sinking but later died in hospital [10]


  1. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  5. ^ Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print
  6. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  7. ^ 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)
  8. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  9. ^ 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)
  10. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html


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