Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Linton Name
Surname Name Meaning, Origin, and Etymology
This Anglo-Saxon last name has locational origins meaning “of Linton”, various parishes and towns in counties Cambridge, Hereford, Devon, Derby, Kent, and York in England. The later element of the name, the Old English word tun, means settlement or enclosure. The first element lint has several different derivations: 1) from the Lyne Rivers in Northumberland (from the Welsh word lliant meaning stream and the word lei meaning flaw), from an estate in Kent called Lilla or Lill, 2) from the Old English words lind (lime tree) or lin (flax), and hence refers to someone who lived near a lime tree of a flax farm, respectively, or 3) from the Old English word hlynn (torrent) or hlinc (hillside). It also may be from places in Scotland called Linton (ex. a village in Peebleshire, a village in Prestonkirk, and a parish in Roxburghshire). There is also a locale named Linton in the Orkney Islands, an archipelago off the northeastern coast of Scotland.
Common spelling variants or names with similar etymologies include Lynton, Lainton, Lineton, and Lintern.
Popularity & Geographic Distribution
The last name Linton ranks 2,428th in popularity in terms in the United Status as of the 2000 Census. The name ranks particularly high in the following seven states: Pennsylvania, Delaware, Kentucky, Florida, Michigan, Utah, and West Virginia.
The surname Linton frequency/commonness ranks as follows in the British Isles: England (2,088th), Scotland (876th), Wales (2,197th), Ireland (3,804th) and Northern Ireland (558th). In England, it ranks highest in Cumberland, Wiltshire, and Worcestershire. In Scotland, it ranks highest in Selkirkshire. In Wales, it ranks highest in Monmouthshire. In Ireland, it ranks highest in Kilkenny.
The name is also present throughout the remainder English speaking world: Canada (1,914th), New Zealand (1,002nd), Australia (1,906th), and South Africa (12,297th).
Early Bearers of the Surname
The earliest known bearer of this surname was Gamel de Lintun, who was documented as a charter witness in the Cartulary of the Priory of St. Andrews in 1160 AD.The Testa de Neville, sive Liber Feodorum lists one William de Lynton in county Worcestershire who lived around the time of King Henry III and Edward I of England (thirteenth century AD). The Placita de Quo Warranto documents one Hugh de Linton in county York during who lived around the time of King Edward I to Edward III of England. The Hundred Rolls of 1273 AD, a census of Wales and England, known in Latin as Rotuli Hundredorum lists two bearers of this surname: Richard de Linton in London and Robert de Lynton in Cambridgeshire. The Poll Tax of Yorkshire in 1379 AD lists one bearer of this last name: Laurencius de Lynton. A one Magister Roberts de Linton was Vicar of Kylelan in 1214 AD. An early baptism involving this surname was one William Linton, son of Thomas, at St. James Clerkenwell in 1686. Early marriages involving this last name include Robert Lynton to Katherine Johnson in 1546 and Margaret Linton to John James at St. Dionis Backchurch in 1719.
History, Genealogy, and Ancestry
John Linton was born around 1634. He married a woman named Ursula and had three issue with her: William Lenthall Sr., Elizabeth, and John. His son William was born in Maryland around 1640. He married Elizabeth Riddle and he had the following children with her: Rebecca, William Jr., George, Mary Elizabeth, James, Samuel, or John. His son Samuel was born in Queen Anne Parish in the same state in 1715 and he married a woman named Elizabeth and had the following issue with her: Jemima, Kezia, Margaret, Rachel, Samuel, Benjamin, Zachariah, Jeremiah, Iomina, and Sarah Luther. His son Zachariah Linton was born in Prince George County, Maryland in 1758. He married Mary Ann Maynard and they had the following issue together: Thomas, Samuel, Joshua Gosna, James, Anna, Johanna, Zachariah, Washington, and John M. His son Joshua was born in Frederick County, Maryland in 1785 and he married a woman named Catherine Elizabeth and had four children with her: Zachariah, William Robert, Elizabeth, and Lewis L. His son Zachariah was born around 1809 and he married Elizabeth Webb, with whom he had the following issue: Mary, Sarah, William, Samuel, John, Nancy, Elizabeth, Jesse, Gilweth, Alcinda, and Laura.
A one William Linton was born around 1613 and he had two sons: John and Moses. His son John was born in Stafford, Virginia in 1670 and he married Anne Barton, with whom he had the following issue: William, Moses, Frances, Constant (Brett), Ann, and John. His son William was born in Hamilton Parish in the same state and he married Susanna Grayson, with whom he had the following issue: Ann (Nesbitt), John, and William Jr.
Early American and New World Settlers
The book Genealogical Guide to the Early Settlers, mentions one person bearing this surname: Richard Linton, likely lived at Governor Chadwick’s plantation, Metford 1630 and Watertown 1638, who was one of the first settlers in Lancaster, 1643. He died in 1665. His daughter was named Ann and she married Lawrence Waters of Lancaster. Little else is known about this man.
Other early settlers in colonial America bearing this name include Margaret or Margery Linton (Virginia 1657), Mary Linton (Virginia 1657), William Linton (Virginia 1663), Richard Linton (Virginia 1663), and George Linton (Maryland 1775).
In Canada, a one John Linton came to Nova Scotia in 1774. In Australia, Michael Linton, age 27, came to South Australia aboard the Sea Queen in 1850. In New Zealand, three bearers came to the city of Wellington aboard the Algoa Bay in 1881: Alexander, Adam, and William.
The earliest known ancestor of the Linton family was Sir Gaulter de Semerville (1000-1049 AD) who lived in Gravernon, Evreux, France. The following website gives a well-researched and fairly comprehensive pedigree of this family starting with him that goes all the way through Kirk Louis Linton (1914-1987) and includes a number of noblemen (ex. Sir Arthur Linton, Earl Walter Linton, Sir Knight Phillip de Linton, etc.):
We have 4 coats of arms for the Linton surname depicted here. These 4 blazons are from Bernard Burke’s book The General Armory of England, Ireland, and Scotland, which was published in 1848. The bottom of this page contains the blazons, and in many instances contains some historical, geographical, and genealogical about where coat of arms was found and who bore it.
There are hundreds of notable people with the Linton surname. This page will mention a handful. Famous people with this last name include: 1) Hercules Linton (1837-1900) who was a Scottish shipbuilder and surveyor, 2) Ralph Linton (1893-1953) who was an American anthropologist from Philadelphia known for defining a distinction between status and role, 3) Marigold Linton (1936) who is a cognitive psychologist and co-founder of the National Indian Education Association, 4) David Linton (1815-1889) who was one of the founders of the Beta Theta Pi at the University of Miami, and 5) Commander John Wallace Linton (1905-1943), a Welshmen who was a Royal Navy submariner who received the Victoria Cross for gallantry during World War II.