Salter History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Salter name was coined by the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. Salter was originally a name given to someone who worked as a manufacturer or dealer in salt, 'the Salter.' "The Salters' Company was early among the London Guilds." [1] [2] [3] [4]

"A maker of salt [was] a business of great importance in the middle ages, when the produce of the land was almost entirely consumed on the spot, and immense quantities of victuals of all kinds had to he salted, in order that they might be kept the whole year round." [5]

Alternatively the name could have originated with " 'the sautreour,' a player on the psaltery, or 'gay sawtrye,' as Chaucer styles it. A stringed instrument of the harp class." [1]

While the first entry is the prevailing understanding of the etomology of the name, one source claims the name was Norman/French as the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae lists William Salatre in Normandy in 1198. [6]

Early Origins of the Salter family

The surname Salter was first found in various shires throughout ancient Britain. The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed John le Saltere, Cambridgeshire; and Nygel le Salter, Wiltshire. [1] In Somerset, Thomas le Saltar was listed there 1 Edward III (during the first year of King Edward III's reign.) [7]

Later in Yorkshire, Willelmus Salter; and Thomas de Wollay, Salter were both listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379. Janetto la Sautreour was a minstrel of Queen Isabelle, according to the Close Rolls, 2 Edward III. "This would easily get corrupted to Salter, as the form psalterie was in use in the 12th century" [1] "William le Sautreour, [was] minstrel to the Lady Margaret, Queen of England 1304." [8]

Back in Somerset, another source notes that Robert and Philip le Salter was listed in the Assize Rolls of 1243 and later in Essex in 1262. Thomas le Selter was found in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex in 1296 and William le Saltere was recorded in the Assize Rolls for Northumberland in 1279. [8]

Early History of the Salter family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Salter research. Another 88 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1404, 1383, 1386, 1388, 1397, 1399, 1580, 1650, 1718, 1723 and 1673 are included under the topic Early Salter History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Salter Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Salter are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Salter include: Salter, Sallter, Saltier, Saltire and others.

Early Notables of the Salter family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include William Salter (died 1404), English politician, a weaver, one of the wealthiest men in his area, Member of Parliament for Devizes 1383, 1386, 1388, 1397, and 1399. Thomas Salter ( fl. 1580) was an English author, is said by Ritson to have been a schoolmaster. If so, he...
Another 52 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Salter Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Salter World Ranking

In the United States, the name Salter is the 1,833rd most popular surname with an estimated 17,409 people with that name. [9] However, in Australia, the name Salter is ranked the 749th most popular surname with an estimated 5,202 people with that name. [10] And in the United Kingdom, the name Salter is the 772nd popular surname with an estimated 8,719 people with that name. [11]


United States Salter migration to the United States +

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Salter or a variant listed above:

Salter Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Salter, who settled in Virginia in 1623
  • Elizabeth Salter, who arrived in Jamestown, Va in 1624 [12]
  • Edward Salter, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Sampson Salter, who landed in America in 1635 [12]
  • William Salter, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1635 [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Salter Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Chr Salter, who landed in Virginia in 1711 [12]
  • Thomas Salter, who settled in Virginia in 1730
  • Thomas Salter, who landed in Georgia in 1738 [12]
  • Robert Salter, who settled in Virginia in 1774
Salter Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Salter, (b. 1822), aged 30, Cornish surgeon departing from Plymouth aboard the ship "Andromeda" arriving in the United States on 10th May 1832 [13]
  • Mrs. Betsey Salter, (b. 1822), aged 30, Cornish settler departing from Plymouth aboard the ship "Andromeda" arriving in the United States on 10th May 1832 [13]
  • Miss Mary Salter, (b. 1822), aged 10, Cornish settler departing from Plymouth aboard the ship "Andromeda" arriving in the United States on 10th May 1832 [13]
  • Miss Dina Salter, (b. 1825), aged 7, Cornish settler departing from Plymouth aboard the ship "Andromeda" arriving in the United States on 10th May 1832 [13]
  • Miss John Salter, (b. 1827), aged 5, Cornish settler departing from Plymouth aboard the ship "Andromeda" arriving in the United States on 10th May 1832 [13]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Salter migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Salter Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Malachy Salter, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749-1752
  • Thomas Salter, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Benj Salter, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1760

Australia Salter migration to Australia +

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

Salter Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss Elizabeth Salter who was convicted in Exeter, Devon, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Brothers" on 20th November 1823, arriving in New South Wales, Australia and Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [14]
  • Mr. George Salter, British Convict who was convicted in Warwick, Warwickshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Commodore Hayes" in April 1823, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [15]
  • William Salter, a iron-plate-worker, who arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Mr. John Salter, English shepherd who was convicted in Wiltshire, England for 14 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Captain Cook" on 2nd May 1833, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [16]
  • Sarah Salter, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Navarino" in 1837 [17]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Salter 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:

Salter Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Mary Ann Salter, (b. 1820), aged 38, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Indiana" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 28th November 1858 [18]
  • Mr. Edward Salter, (b. 1825), aged 33, British carpenter travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Indiana" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 28th November 1858 [18]
  • Miss Maria Salter, (b. 1848), aged 10, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Indiana" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 28th November 1858 [18]
  • Miss Ann Frances Salter, (b. 1849), aged 9, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Indiana" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 28th November 1858 [18]
  • Mr. Charles Edward Salter, (b. 1851), aged 7, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Indiana" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 28th November 1858 [18]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Salter (post 1700) +

  • Samuel Salter (1975-2021), American R&B singer from Los Angeles, California
  • James Salter (1925-2015), born James Arnold Horowitz, an American novelist and short-story writer
  • Susanna M. Salter (1860-1961), American politician, first woman mayor in the United States
  • Mary Jo Salter (b. 1954), American poet
  • Lewis Salter (1926-1989), American theoretical physicist, physics professor, and researcher
  • Hans J. Salter (1896-1994), American film composer
  • Andrew Salter (1914-1996), American psychotherapist
  • William Salter (1804-1875), English painter, son of William and Sarah Salter, born at Honiton, Devonshire
  • Thomas Frederick Salter (1814-1826), English writer on angling; he carried on business as a hatter at 47 Charing Cross, London
  • Samuel Salter (b. 1778), English Master of the Charterhouse, the son of Archdeacon Samuel Salter (d. 1756?)
  • ... (Another 7 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Prince of Wales


Suggested Readings for the name Salter +

  • Salter-Hemann-Suhre Family Histories by Ellen Salter Dal Pozzo.

  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  3. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  4. ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  5. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  6. ^ 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)
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  9. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  10. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  11. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  12. ^ 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)
  13. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to New York 1820 - 1891 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_new_york_1820_1891.pdf
  14. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 30th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/brothers
  15. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retrieved 4th March 2021, retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/commodore-hayes)
  16. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th December 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/captain-cook
  17. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) NAVARINO 1837. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1837Navarino.htm
  18. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  19. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html


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