Show ContentsSalters History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Salters is rooted in the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. It was originally a name for 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 Salters family

The surname Salters 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 Salters family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Salters research. Another 88 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1383, 1386, 1388, 1397, 1399, 1404, 1541, 1554, 1580, 1650, 1673, 1718 and 1723 are included under the topic Early Salters History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Salters 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 Salters 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 Salters include Salter, Sallter, Saltier, Saltire and others.

Early Notables of the Salters family

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 Salters Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Salters Ranking

In the United States, the name Salters is the 9,505th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [9]

United States Salters 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 Salters or a variant listed above:

Salters Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Antonio Salters, aged 28, who landed in New Orleans, La in 1840 [10]

  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. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  10. 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) on Facebook