Pistor History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Pistor is an early Norman name that was originally given to a person who used 'an instrument for pounding things in a mortar', 'pestle'. "Probably for a user of this instrument, a compounder of drugs, a spicer." [1]

The name is derived from the Middle English word pestel and the Old French word pestel.

In Normandy the first record of the family was found in the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae which listed N. Pestoil there 1180-95. [2]

Early Origins of the Pistor family

The surname Pistor was first found in Shropshire where Robert Pestel was listed in the Assize Rolls for 1221. A few years later, Nicholas Pestel was listed in the Assize Rolls for Lancashire in 1246. And later again, Symon Pystel was found in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex in 1296. Kyn Pestell was listed in the Assize Rolls for Cambridgeshire in 1260. [1]

Not withstanding the aforementioned, the family rose to distinction in Leicestershire in early days where both Coat of Arms were recorded. Both are essentially the same with the latter record in 1648 of a William Pestell, a mate of Captain Jomes in a ship of war "descended from an ancient family in the county of Leicester." [3]

Early History of the Pistor family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pistor research. Another 106 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1115, 1279, 1455, 1487, 1584, 1659 and 1613 are included under the topic Early Pistor History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pistor Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Pistor include Pestell, Pestel, Pistol, Pestol, Pestoll, Pistoll, Pestall, Pestal, Pester, Pestor, Pistor and many more.

Early Notables of the Pistor family (pre 1700)

Another 40 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pistor Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Pistor migration to the United States +

In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Pistors to arrive on North American shores:

Pistor Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Charles Pistor, who arrived in Virginia in 1702 [4]
  • Christian Pistor, who landed in Virginia in 1702 [4]
  • Johannes David Pistor, aged 24, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1753 [4]
  • Andries Pistor, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1793 [4]
  • Jan Pistor, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1793 [4]
Pistor Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Franz Pistor, who arrived in Brazil in 1858 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Pistor (post 1700) +

  • Michael T. F. Pistor (b. 1930), American politician, U.S. Ambassador to Malawi, 1991-94 [5]
  • Charles J. Pistor Jr., American politician, Candidate for New York State Senate 24th District, 2006 [5]
  • Ludger Pistor (b. 1959), German award winning actor, known for his work on Balko (1995), Casino Royale (2006) and Inglourious Basterds (2009)


  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  3. ^ Burke, Sir Bernard, C.B. LL.D The General Armory of England Scotland, Ireland and Wales. London: Harrison, 59, Pall Mall, 1884, Print.
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 21) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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