Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Preston Name
Origins of Name:
The surname of Preston is of both an English and Irish origin. In England, the surname of Preston is a locational surname, which is derived from one of the many places that are named Preston all over the countryside. The most notable of these places in in Lancashire, and this name is recorded as “prestune” in the Doomsday Book of 1086, which records the “Great Survey” of England. In the Lancashire Charters, the spelling of these places is “Prestona.” Both of these spellings derive from the same elements, including the Old English Pre 7th Century word “preost” which is interpreted to mean “priest” and “tun” which translates to mean an “enclosure” or a “settlement.” This surname of Preston literally translates to mean a “village with a priest” or a “village held by the church.” It is important to remember that these types of surnames, locational surnames, were created to distinguish new workers who migrated to a new place, and it was easiest to name them according to their place of birth.
More common variations are:
Prestone, Preeston, Prieston, Presston, Prestonn, Preseton, Prestono, Prestoon, Preswton, Preyston
The first recorded spelling of this surname of Preston was shown in the Records of the Knight Templars in 12th Century England. Peter de Prestun was recorded in the year 1185 as this first spelling of the name. This work was ordered and decreed under the reign of King Henry II, who was known as and commonly referred to as “The Builder of Churches” throughout history, and ruled from the year 1154 to the year 1189. Other mentions of this surname of Preston were commonly found throughout historical documents and church records. One Walter de Preston, who was the sheriff of Northamptonshire in 1207 and his son, Gilbert de Preston, who served as the Chief Justice of the court of common pleas in 1242 were both mentioned in the Dictionary of National Biography. Those who bear the surname of Preston were originally found in the county of Lincolnshire, but later settled in the counties of Yorkshire, Cheshire, Lancashire, and Staffordshire.
Dubbed the most important person bearing the surname of Preston was Thomas Preston, who was a Viscount Tara of the Irish Nobility, and lived from the year 1585 to the year 1655. Thomas Preston was the son of Lord Gormanston, and was defeated in battle by Cromwell’s son-in-law, Henry Ireton, at the battle of Waterford in the year 1650.
Those bearing the surname of Preston are commonly found in the areas of Angus, Lanarkshire, and Midlothian counties.
United States of America:
During the 17th Century, there was a large migration from European countries to the United States of America, which at that time was referred to as The Colonies, or the New World. These settlers were seeking out a better life for them and their families, and America promised freedom from religious persecution, a life without an overarching ruler, and better living conditions. This migration was referred to as The Great Migration, and is also referred to as The European Migration. The first settler with the surname of Preston was one John Preston, who sailed to Virginia in 1634. He was closely followed by Daniell, Joseph, George, and Lawrence Preston, who all settled in Virginia in the year 1635.
United States 55,077
South Africa 5,370
New Zealand 1,706
Northern Ireland 596
Private Herbert Irving Preston (1876-1928) who was an American Marine awarded the Medal of Honor
Kelly Preston (born in 1962) who is a former American model and actress.
Robert Preston (1918-1987) who was an American Academy Award nominated actor and singer, who was best known for portraying Harold Hill in the 1957 musical The Music Man
Lewis Thompson Preston (born in 1926) who was an American banker, and served as President of the World Bank from the year 1991 to the year 1995
Billy Preston (1946-2006) who was an American Rhythm & Blues player of the organ, the keyboards, and the piano
John Smith Preston (1809-1881) who was an American lawyer and also served in the Civil War as a Confederate General in the South
James Patterson Preston (1774-1853) who was an American politician, he also held the Governor’s office in the state of Virginia from the year 1816 to the year 1819
Commander Arthur Murray Preston (1913-1968) who was a United States Naval officer who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in the year 1944
Preston Family Gift Ideas
Browse Preston family gift ideas and products below. If there are multiple coats of arms for this surname, you will see them at the top of this page and can click on the various coat of arms designs to apply them to the gift ideas below.
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Preston Family Crest Corn Hole Game$224.00Purchase »
Preston Family Crest Ping Pong Table$167.59Purchase »
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Blazons & Genealogy Notes
1) (Preston Richard, Preston Patrick, Nether Levens, co. Westmoreland, and of the Manor and Abbey of Furness, co. Lancaster). Motto—Si Dieu veult. (Furness Abbey, co. Lancaster, bart., extinct temp. Anne). Ar. two bars gu. on a canton of the last a cinquefoil or. Crests—1st: On a ruined tower ar. a falcon volant of the same, beaked, legged, and belled or; 2nd; On a chapeau gu. turned up erm. a wolf or.
2) (Holker, co. Lancaster, 1613 and 1664). Ar. two bars gu. on a canton of the second a cinquefoil or. Creat—On a tower ar. a stork rising of the last, beaked or.
3) (Up-Ottery, co. Devon; descended from co. Lancaster). Same Arms. Crest—On a chapeau gu. turned up erm. a wolf or.
4) (Flasby Hall, Gargrave, co. York). (Moreby, near York). (Askham Bryan Hall, co. York). Same Arms. Crest—On a ruined tower a falcon rising ar. beaked, legged, and belled or. Motto—Si Dicu veult.
5) (co. Bedford, and Chilwick, co. Hertford; granted 1629). Ar. two bars gu. on a bordure sa. eight cinquefoils or. Crest—Out of a mural crown or, a demi fox ramp. sa. gorged with a collar erm.
6) (co. Cumberland). Ar. (another, erm.) two bars gu. on a canton of the second a cinquefoil or.
7) (Prestun in Amounderness, co. Lancaster, 1613). Or, on a chief sa. (gu. in Visit, of 1664), three crescents of the first. Crest, 1664—A wolf pass. ppr.
8) (Beeston, St. Lawrence, co. Norfolk, bart.). Erm. on a chief sa. three crescents or. Crest—A Crest or. Motto—Pristinum spero lumen.
9) (Stanfield Hall, co. Norfolk). Erm. on a chief indented sa. three crescents or.
10) (Yarmouth). Erm. on a chief sa. three crescents or. Crest—A crescent or, betw. two wings sa.
11) (Dalby Park, Spilsby, co. Lincoln). Or, on a chief sa. three crescents ar. Crest—On a chapeau gu. turned up erm. a wolf ppr.
12) (co. Chester). Ar. a chev. engr. betw. three annulets gu.
13) (Bawton, co. Suffolk). Sa. a chev. or, fretty gu. betw. three garbs ar.
14) (Crickett, co. Somerset). Az. ten bezants, four, three, two, and one, on a chief ar. two lions pass. counterpass. sa.
15) (co. Suffolk). Erm. on a chief sa. three crescents or. Crest—A crescent or, betw. two wings az.
16) (Melton, co. Leicester). Erm. a talbot pass. sa.
17) (co. Leicester). Ar. on a bend sa. betw. six crosses crosslet fitchée gu. three bezants.
18) (co. Lincoln). Or, three garbs gu. banded ar.
19) (Viscount Gormanston, Premier Viscount in the Peerage of Ireland, and Baron Gormanston of Whitewood, co. Meath, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom; descended from Roger de Preston, Justice of the Common Pleas in Ireland, 1 Edward III., A.D. 1327, fourth in descent from the Chief Justice, Sir Robert Preston, Lord Deputy of Ireland, A.D. 1478, was created same year Viscount Gormanston). Motto—Sans tache. Or, on a chief sa. three crescents of the first. Crest—On a chapeau gu. turned up erm. a fox statant ppr. Supporters—Dexter, a fox ppr.; sinister, a lion or.
20) (Viscount Tara, extinct 1647; Hon. Thomas Preston, second son of Christopher, fourth Viscount Gormanston, a General in the Army of the Confederate Catholics of Ireland, 1642, was so created 1650). (Ballymadun; Elenor, dau. of Robert Preston, of that place, m. Alderman Nicholas Alcock, of Drogheda, who d. 18 June, 1616. Fan. Ent. Ulster’s Office). Same Arms, a crescent for diff.
21) (The Ninch, co. Meath; Fun. Ent. Ulster's Office, 1617, William Preston, of that place, some time Sheriff of Dublin, nephew and heir of John Preston, of Ninch). Same Arms, a crescent on a crescent for diff.
22) (Mayor of Dublin, 1654; Fun. Ent. Ulster’s Office, 1686, Alderman John Preston, of Dublin, son of Hugh Preston, of Bolton, co. Lancaster; arms granted by St. George, Ulster, 1665). Ermines on a chief ar. three crescents gu.
23) (Ardsallagh, co. Meath; descended from before mentioned Alderman John Preston, of Dublin). Motto—Sui ipsius præmium. (Bellinter, co. Meath; descended from Ardsallagh). (Baron Tara, extinct 1821; John Preston, Esq., of Bellinter, was so created 1800, and d. s. p., when his estates passed to his brother, Rev. Joseph Preston). (Swainstown, co. Meath). (Thomas Preston, Ulster King of Arms, 1633-42). Same Arms. Crest—A crescent or, betw. two wings inverted az.
24) (that Ilk, and Craigmillar, co. Edinburgh). Motto—Præsto ut praestem. Ar. three unicorns’ heads erased sa. Crest—A good angel ppr.
25) (Cousland Whitehill, Scotland). Same Arms, within a bordure engr. of the last.
26) (Valleyfield House, co. Perth, bart.). Motto—Præsto ut præstem. Ar. three unicorns' heads erased sa. a bordure az. Crest—Out of a ducal coronet or, a unicorn's head ppr.
27) (Lord Dingwall). Ar. three unicorns’ heads erased sa. Crest—Out of a ducal coronet or, a unicorn’s head sa. Supporters—Two lions gu. Motto—Pour bien fort.
28) (Airdrie). Same Arms, a border vairé ar. and gu
29) Quarterly, or and gu. on a chief sa. three crescents of the first.
30) Gu. a bend betw. six crosses crosslet fitchée at the foot (another, pattée fitchée) or.
31) Sa. a cross erm. betw. four leopards’ faces or.
32) Ar. on a cross gu. five escallops of the field, a bordure vert.
33) Gu. six crosses crosslet fitchée, three, two, and one, a bordure or.
34) Per pale indented or and gu. a bordure vert platée.
35) Ar. on a cross gu. five escallops or, a bordure vert.
36) Gu. two bars fusily ar.
37) Gu. three garbs or.
38) Az. a chev. or, betw. three garbs ar.
39) Gu. eight mascles or, five and three.
40) Gu. eight mascles ar. four and four.
41) Gu. eight lozenges ar. four, three, and one.
42) Quarterly, ar. and az. a bend gu.