Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Stanton Name
This surname is of local origin meaning “of Stanton”, which are towns in counties Derby, Stafford, and Northumerland, as well as parishes in counties Gloucester, Suffolk, Wilts, Bucks, Derby, Somerset, Dorset, and Oxford. The name is also well established in Ireland. Spelling variants include Staunton ,Stainton, Stanten, and Stantyn. It comes from the word stan or stein (stone) and ton (hill or town). The Stanton population in Scotland can be found in Angus, Lanarkshire, and Midlothian.
It comes from the Old English word stun (stan) and tun (farmstead). One author notes it comes from the Anglo-Saxon word Stantun and claims it means the stone dwelling. The word Stantun occurs frequently in the deeds and records of the Anglo-Saxon era. It derives from towns that were built on stony grounds. In his book, Surnames of the United Kingdom, writes: “Stanton is the usual form in the 13th-cent. Hundred-Rolls. At Stanton-Drew, Soms., are ‘circles of large stones’; at Stanton-Harcourt, Oxon, are ‘a number of large stones called the Devil’s Coits’; and in descriptions of several of our Stantons particular mention is made of stone-quarries.”
Early notables include Alice de Stanton (Cambridge), Walter de Stanton (Oxfordshire), and Edmund de Stanton (Wiltshire), who were recorded in the Hundred Rolls of 1273 AD. The first recorded spelling of was Godwine aet Stantune in 1055 AD. Later recorded Stantons include Francis Stanton in Bedford and Henry Staunton or Stanton in Cornwall. Early marriages involving this last name include Arthur Stanten to Elizabeth Clapen on 1624 at St. Dionis Backchurch.
The book “A dictionary of English Place-Names”, by A.D. Mills, notes that this surname was originally found in Nottinghamshire where the family held seat for hundreds of years, and served as the Lords of the manor of Staunton, with Sir Brian Staunton being the first Lord Stanton, and lived during the time of King Edward the Confessor in 1047 AD.
Early American settlers bearing this surname include Thomas Stanton, who left the port of London to Virginia aboard the Bonaventure in January of 1634, John Stanton (Virginia 1623), Christopher Stanton (Virginia 1638), Theop Stanton (Virginia 1702), John Stanton (New York 1811), and Frederick Stanton (Mississippi 1818). Thomas Stanton (1616-1677) was a trader and interpreter who was one of the original settlers of Hartford, CT. He married Anna Lord and had numerous children with her: Thomas Jr. John, Mary, Hannah, Joseph, Daniel, Dorothy, Robert, Sarah, and Samuel, who were all born between 1638 and 1657.
The surname is discussed at considerable length in the book New England Families by William Richard Cutter. It states that “Robert Stanton, an early settler of Newpork, Rhose Island, was the progenitor of the Honorable Edwin M. Stanton, of Lincoln’s cabinet; died in Newport in 1672, aged 73. There was a John Stanton in Virginia in 1635 and Thomas Stanton aged twenty, sailed for Virginia in 1635 in the merchantman Bonaventura. The family historian thinks he went to Virginia, but many ships whose records state Virginia was the destination came to New England. The “Bonaventure” may have landed some passengers in Virginia, others in Connecticut and Boston.”
Family mottoes include dum spiro spero, which means “white I have breath I hope”. Notes on grantees of arms with this surname: 1) of Bristol and Plymouth, co. Devon, .
Bernard Burke’s Book, The Landed Gentry, discusses one branch of this family: Stanton of the Thrupp. The lineage traces back to Joseph Stanton, who married Elizabeth Page, who had two sons: William and John. William (died 1841) married Anne Caruthers in 1785 and had eight children: William Henry, John, Joseph, Charles, Edward, Anne, Charlotte, and Mercy. He was succeeded by his son William Henry born (1790-1870) who married JaneSmith and had children: Reverend William Henry (1824), Alfred John, Major-General Edward, Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Smith, and Emily Jane. William was succeeded by Alfred Stanton (born 1823) who married Anna Alexander and had the following children: Elizabeth Jane, Isabel Margaret, and Beatrice Harriet. They bore the following arms: Argent, two chevrons within a border engrailed sable.
Stanton Coat of Arms Meaning
The four main devices (symbols) in the Stanton blazon are the estoile, heart, sword and rose. The three main tinctures (colors) are or, azure and gules .
The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.. Along with, argent, or silver it forms the two “metals” of heraldry – one of the guidelines of heraldic design is that silver objects should not be placed upon gold fields and vice versa . The yellow colour is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo..
The bright, strong blue color in Heraldry is known in English as azure, and similarly in other European languages – azul in Spanish, azurro in Italian and azur in French. The word has its roots in the Arabic word lazura, also the source of the name of the precious stone lapis lazuli . Despite this, those heralds who liked to associate colours with jewels chose instead to describe blue as Sapphire. According to Wade, the use of this colour symbolises “Loyalty and Truth” .
Red in heraldry is given the name Gules, sometimes said to be the “martyr’s colour”. The colour is also associated with Mars, the red planet, and the zodiacal sign Aries . Later heralds of a more poetical nature would sometimes refer to the colour as ruby, after the precious stone..
There were of course many widely recognised symbols that existed long before the advent of heraldry and it should be no surprise that some of these were adopted as charge in coats of arms . The estoile is a typical example, reflecting the stars in the sky and represented with six wavy points, often with a little shading to give it some depth. . The ancient writer Guillim assigns these symbols as the emblems of God’s goodness”.
The heart is represented by the conventional symbol that we see today on playing cards. In later arms it can also appear emflamed and crowned. Guillim, the 17th century heraldic author, believes that it shows the holder to be a “man of sincerity…who speaks truth from his heart”.
Given the martial nature of the origins of Heraldry, in the identification of knights and men-at-arms it can come as no surprise that mediaeval weaponry of all types are frequently to be found in a coat of arms . Indeed, the sheer variety of different swords can be bewildering and expaining the difference between a scimitar and a falchion is perhaps best left to the expert! If a charge is described just as a simple sword then it will have a straight blade and cross handle, that may be of a different colour, and, unless specified, points upwards. Wade, quoting the earlier writer Guillim, signifies the use of the sword as representing “Government and Justice”.