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Origins Available: English, Scottish


Preston is a name that was carried to England in the great wave of migration from Normandy following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Preston family lived Lincolnshire, at Preston, from where they derived their name. The name Preston comes from the Old English words preost, meaning priest, and tun, meaning enclosure or settlement. [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
"Thirty-five parishes and places are named [Preston] in the Gazetteer, and there are many others in various counties. The origin of the name, from preostes-tun. 'the priest's enclosure or homestead ' is undoubted." [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.


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The surname Preston was first found in Lincolnshire, where Laurence de Preston was one of the first records of the name. The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 also list Alice de Preston in Northamptonshire. Years later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed Johannes de Pryston and Isabella de Preston. [3]CITATION[CLOSE]
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
The Scottish branch of the family was established long ago and in this case, the family claim descent from "the barony of Preston or Prestoun, afterwards known as Gourtoun and now Craigmillar in Midlothian. Alured de Preston appears as a charter witness in 1222, and Lyulph, son of Lyulph de Preston, c. 1240-50, had a charter from John Albus of a piece of land in Linlithgow which lie made over to the Abbey of Neubotel. Johannes de Prestun witnessed a quitclaim by Johannes Gallard apud Muskilburg in 1248. Alured de Preston appears as a charter witness in 1222, and Lyulph, son of Lyulph de Preston, c. 1240-50, had a charter from John Albus of a piece of land in Linlithgow which lie made over to the Abbey of Neubotel. Johannes de Prestun witnessed a quitclaim by Johannes Gallard apud Muskilburg in 1248." [4]CITATION[CLOSE]
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)

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 Preston include Prestone, Preston, Presson and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Preston research. Another 391 words (28 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1827, 1826, 1332, 1421, 1453, 1503, 1585, 1655, 1753, 1807 and are included under the topic Early Preston History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John de Prestone, Lord Mayor of London in 1332; Gilbert Preston, 13th century Chief Justice of the common pleas, who held lands in Northamptonshire; Sir Amyas Preston of...

Another 36 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Preston Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Some of the Preston family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 165 words (12 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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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 Prestons to arrive on North American shores:

Preston Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • John Preston, who sailed to Virginia in 1634
  • Daniell Preston sailed to New England in 1635
  • Joseph Preston, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • George Preston, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Lawrence Preston, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • ...

Preston Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Eliza Preston, who arrived in Virginia in 1714
  • Captain Preston, who arrived in Boston in 1765
  • Jedediah Preston, who arrived in New England in 1770

Preston Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Alexander Preston, aged 29, arrived in Tennessee in 1812
  • John Preston, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1834
  • George Preston, who landed in New York in 1842
  • James Preston, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850

Preston Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Mr. Thomas Preston U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 he became a Freeman in 1790 as a Mason

Preston Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Joseph Preston, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on September 3rd, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Austraila
  • Thomas Preston, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on July 3, 1822, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
  • Morris Preston arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Fairlee" in 1840
  • Elizabeth Preston arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Fairlee" in 1840
  • John Preston arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Fairlee" in 1840
  • ...

Preston Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Elizabeth Preston, aged 21, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Stately" in 1851
  • John Preston arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mermaid" in 1859
  • Henry Preston, aged 22, a labourer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bebington" in 1872
  • George Preston, aged 26, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Berar" in 1873
  • Annie Preston, aged 30, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Berar" in 1873
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  • Private Herbert Irving Preston (1876-1928), American Marine awarded the Medal of Honor
  • Kelly Preston (b. 1962), American actress and former model
  • Lewis Thompson Preston (b. 1926), American banker, President of the World Bank (1991-1995)
  • Robert Preston (1918-1987), American Academy Award nominated actor and singer, best remembered for his role as Harold Hill in the 1957 musical The Music Man
  • Billy Preston (1946-2006), American Rhythm & Blues player of organ, keyboards, and piano
  • John Smith Preston (1809-1881), American lawyer and Confederate general in the American Civil War
  • James Patton Preston (1774-1853), American politician, who served as the governor of Virginia (1816-1819)
  • Commander Arthur Murray Preston (1913-1968), United States Navy officer awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1944
  • William Ballard Preston (1805-1862), American politician, U.S. Secretary of the Navy from 1849 to 1850
  • Keith Preston (1884-1927), American poet
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Preston Historic Events



Empress of Ireland

  • Mr. John Edwin Preston, British Inspector from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking on May 29th 1914

Halifax Explosion

  • Mr. George Henry  Preston (1879-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917
  • Mr. R.  Preston, Irish 3rd Officer aboard the SS Curaca from Belfast, Ireland who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917

HMS Repulse

  • Mr. Walter A Preston, British Stoker, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking

RMS Titanic

  • Mr. John Federick Preston (d. 1912), aged 30, English Bassist from Liverpool, Lancashire who played aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking and was recovered by CS Mackay-Bennett
  • Mr. Thomas Charles Alfred Preston, aged 20, English Greaser from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on collapsible B
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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: Si Dieu Veult
Motto Translation: If God wills it.

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Citations



  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. 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. ^ 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)

Other References

  1. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  2. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  3. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  4. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  6. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  7. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  8. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  9. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  11. ...

The Preston Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Preston Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 16 March 2016 at 13:14.

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