Saltire History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

Saltire is a name that was formed by the Anglo-Saxon society of old Britain. The name was thought to have been used for someone who once worked as a person who played the psaltery, which was a stringed instrument. The surname Saltire is an occupational surname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. Occupational surnames were derived from the primary activity of the bearer. In the Middle Ages, people did not generally live off of the fruits of their labor in a particular job. Rather, they performed a specialized task, as well as farming, for subsistence. Other occupational names were derived from an object associated with a particular activity. In this case, the surname Saltire is a metonymic surname, which means it is derived from an object associated with an occupation.

Early Origins of the Saltire family

The surname Saltire was first found in Shropshire where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.

Important Dates for the Saltire family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Saltire 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 Saltire History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Saltire Spelling Variations

Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Saltire include Salter, Sallter, Saltier, Saltire and others.

Early Notables of the Saltire 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 Saltire Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Saltire family

Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Saltire were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: Edward Salter settled in Virginia in 1635; along with Elizabeth in 1653; Francis 1655; John 1623; Joseph 1663; Richard 1656; Robert 1649; Robert 1774.

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