Wilton History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The present generation of the Wilton family is only the most recent to bear a name that dates back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name comes from having lived in one of the places called Wilton in Cumberland, Herefordshire, Norfolk, Somerset, Wiltshire, or the East and North Ridings of Yorkshire. Wilton, Wiltshire was originally called Ellandune. "This town, which derives its name from the river Wily, is of great antiquity, and is supposed by Baxter to have been the Caer-Guilo, or capital of the British prince, Caroilius, and subsequently a seat of the West Saxon kings. It was a place of importance for several centuries preceding the Norman Conquest, possessing an eminent religious establishment, and giving name to the county; the town had also a mint. Wilton is stated by Camden and other writers to have been originally called Ellandune, and to have been the scene of a sanguinary battle fought between Egbert, king of the West Saxons, and Beorwolf, the Mercian king, in which the latter was defeated. " [1]

Early Origins of the Wilton family

The surname Wilton was first found in Essex where they held a family seat at Snaresbrook. The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had two listings, both with early spellings of the family: Margery de Wiliton, Berkshire; and Ralph de Wylyton, Wiltshire. [2]

Kirby's Quest noted "Simon de Wiltone, Somerset, 1 Edward III, [(registered during the first year's reign of King Edward III.)]". [3]

One of the first records of the family was William de Wilton (d. 1264), an early English judge "who had fines levied before him in 1247, acted as justice itinerant in 1248, 1249, and 1250, again in 1253, 1255, and 1259-61. He was probably chief justice of the king's bench. He can be traced in the execution of the functions of the office till November 1263. According to Rishanger, he was slain at the battle of Lewes on the king's side (14 May 1264). " [4]

Early History of the Wilton family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wilton research. Another 153 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1150, 1211, 1296, 1454, 1239, 1373 and 1376 are included under the topic Early Wilton History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wilton 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 Wilton include Wilton, Wiltone, Willton, Willtone and others.

Early Notables of the Wilton family (pre 1700)

Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wilton Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wilton Ranking

In the United States, the name Wilton is the 9,484th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [5] However, in New Zealand, the name Wilton is ranked the 583rd most popular surname with an estimated 1,226 people with that name. [6]


United States Wilton migration to the United States +

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 Wilton were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Wilton Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Francis Wilton who settled in Virginia in 1619
  • Francis Wilton, who arrived in Virginia in 1624-1625 [7]
  • David and Nicholas Wilton, who settled in Salem Massachusetts in 1630
  • Davis Wilton, who landed in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1633 [7]
  • Joe Wilton, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Wilton Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Wilton, who arrived in Virginia in 1702 [7]
  • Joseph Dacre Appleby Wilton, who landed in South Carolina in 1761 [7]
  • Samuel Wilton, who settled in New England in 1772

Canada Wilton migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Wilton Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Solomon Wilton was a fisherman of Burnt Island, Newfoundland in 1845 [8]
  • Mr. Joseph Wilton who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "General Hewitt" departing 22nd July 1847 from Bremen, Germany; the ship arrived on 12th September 1847 but he died on board [9]

Australia Wilton migration to Australia +

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

Wilton Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Matthew Wilton, English convict who was convicted in Lancaster, Lancashire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Canada" on 23rd April 1819, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [10]
  • Mr. John Wilton who was convicted in Woolwich, London, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Duchess of Northumberland" on 1st October 1842, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [11]
  • Nicholas Wilton, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Phoebe" in 1847 [12]
  • William Wilton, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Florentia" in 1849 [13]
  • Thomas Wilton, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Stebonheath" in 1849 [14]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Wilton 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:

Wilton Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Robert Wilton, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • W Wilton, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Charles Wilton, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Elijah Wilton, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1841 aboard the ship Oriental
  • Mr. Robert Wilton, (b. 1802), aged 39, British settler travelling from Plymouth aboard the ship "Oriental" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 27th October 1841 [15]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Wilton (post 1700) +

  • Michael Wilton (b. 1962), American guitarist
  • Frank S. Wilton Jr. (1905-1977), American college football player and coach
  • Dame Penelope Alice Wilton OBE, DBE (b. 1946), English two-time Critics' Circle Theatre Award winning actress best known for her roles in Downton Abbey, After Life and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2004, Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2016.
  • Joseph Wilton (1722-1803), English sculptor, one of the founding members of the Royal Academy [16]
  • Robb Wilton (1881-1957), born Robert Wilton Smith, English comedian and comic actor
  • Richard Wilton (d. 1239), English scholastic philosopher, member of the Trinitarians, many of his published works still survive today
  • Robert Archibald Wilton (1868-1925), British journalist, author, recipient of the Cross of St George
  • Gregory Stuart "Greg" Wilton (1955-2000), Australian politician
  • General Sir John Wilton, Australian general from New South Wales
  • Peter Wilton Cushing OBE (1913-1994), English actor, known for his many appearances in Hammer Films, specifically for his roles as the sinister scientist Baron Frankenstein, Sherlock Holmes and the vampire hunter Dr. Van Helsing

RMS Titanic
  • Mr. William Edward Wilton (d. 1912), aged 45, English Fireman/Stoker from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [17]


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  5. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  6. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  7. ^ 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)
  8. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  9. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 99)
  10. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 9th December 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/canada
  11. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th July 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/duchess-of-northumberland
  12. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) PHOEBE 1847. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1847Phoebe.htm
  13. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) FLORENTIA 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Florentia.htm
  14. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) STEBONHEATH 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Stebonheath.htm
  15. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  16. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 4 Feb. 2019
  17. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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