Prescott History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Prescott is a name whose history is connected to the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Prescott family once lived near a priest's cottage. The surname is derived from the Old English elements preost, which meant priest, and cot, which meant cottage. This is a topographic surname; it is derived from a local geographical feature, instead of an already existing place-name. It may also denote employment at a priest's cottage. The Prescott name comes from having lived near a priest's cottage; it is derived from the Old English elements "preost," which meant "priest," and "cot," which meant "cottage." As such, this name is classed as a topographic surname; that is, one that is derived from a local geographical feature, rather than from an already existing place-name.

Early Origins of the Prescott family

The surname Prescott was first found in Lancashire at Prescot, a market-town and parish, and the head of a union, in the hundred of West Derby. [1] While there are also parishes in Oxfordshire, and Gloucestershire, it is the Lancashire location that this family hails. "The Prescotts take their name from a Lancashire parish; they are also represented in Cheshire." [2] "The Lancashire town gave rise to a family that still flourishes in its local directories." [3]

While most sources agree on the place of origin of the family and their first stronghold, ironically the first listing of the family used an ancient family spelling in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 as (Heredes) de Prestecote in Oxfordshire. [3] Later, Kirby's Quest listed Adam le Prestecote in Somerset, 1 Edward III (during the first year of Edward III's reign.) [4]

Early History of the Prescott family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Prescott research. Another 60 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1789, 1858, 1726 and 1815 are included under the topic Early Prescott History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Prescott Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Prescott family name include Prescott, Presscot, Presscot, Prescot, Prescop and others.

Early Notables of the Prescott family (pre 1700)

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


United States Prescott migration to the United States +

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Prescott surname or a spelling variation of the name include:

Prescott Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Prescott, who settled in Watertown in 1640
  • John Prescott, who arrived in Watertown, Massachusetts in 1641 [5]
  • Jonas Prescott, who landed in New England in 1646 [5]
  • Walter Prescott, who landed in Maryland in 1653 [5]
  • Henry Prescott, who settled in Maryland in 1697
Prescott Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Charles W E Prescott, who arrived in New York in 1823 [5]
  • James Prescott, aged 35, who landed in New York, NY in 1851 [5]
  • George Prescott, who arrived in Illinois in 1856-1864 [5]
  • Francis Prescott, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1878 [5]

Canada Prescott migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Prescott Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Jonathan Prescott, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749-1752

Australia Prescott migration to Australia +

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

Prescott Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William Prescott a farmer, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Winchester" in 1838 [6]
  • Christian Prescott, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Winchester" in 1838 [6]
  • William Augustus Prescott a farmer, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Winchester" in 1838 [6]
  • Alfred Charles Prescott, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Winchester" in 1838 [6]
  • Edward Prescott a farmer, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Winchester" in 1838 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Prescott migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Prescott Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Rueben Prescott, aged 34, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Reiherstieg" in 1864
  • Elizabeth Prescott, aged 32, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Reiherstieg" in 1864
  • Thomas Prescott, aged 3, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Reiherstieg" in 1864
  • John Prescott, aged 21, a smith, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Gainsborough" in 1878

Contemporary Notables of the name Prescott (post 1700) +

  • Edward C Prescott (b. 1943), American economist who won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2004
  • Abel Prescott Jr. (1749-1775), American patriot who accompanied Paul Revere on his ride in 1775, escaped British capture and carried the warning to Concord, son of Abel Prescott Sr
  • Samuel Prescott (1751-1777), American patriot, who accompanied Paul Revere on his ride in 1775, escaped British capture and carried the warning to Concord, son of Abel Prescott Sr
  • William H. Prescott, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Connecticut, 1896
  • William C. Prescott, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Herkimer County, 1893-94
  • William C. Prescott, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Massachusetts, 1952
  • William Prescott, American politician, Member of New Hampshire State Senate 6th District, 1827-28
  • Thomas Prescott, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from New Mexico, 1972
  • Samuel J. Prescott, American Republican politician, District of Columbia Republican Party chair, 1925, 1931; Member, Committee to Notify Presidential Nominee, Republican National Convention, 1928
  • Stedman Prescott, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Maryland, 1936; Chief judge of Maryland Court of Appeals, 1964-66
  • ... (Another 58 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Hood
  • Mr. Marcus R Prescott (b. 1905), English Stoker Petty Officer serving for the Royal Navy from Leigh, Lancashire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [7]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mrs. Bertha Prescott, (née Martin), English 2nd Class passenger residing in Toronto, Ontario, Canada returning to her injured husband, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [8]


The Prescott 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: Lux mihi Deus
Motto Translation: God is my light.


Suggested Readings for the name Prescott +

  • 1934 European Ancestry of the Prescott Family of America by Doris Cline Ward, Leaves from the Prescott Family Tree by Bertha Klicka Mannen.

  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  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. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) WINCHESTER 1838. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1838Winchester.htm
  7. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  8. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 7) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/


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