Walton Surname Genealogy

The surname Walton derives from the Walton placename of which there
were many around the country, such as Walton-on-Thames in Surrey,
Walton-on-the-Naze in Essex, Walton near Warrington in Cheshire, and
Walton Hall in west Yorkshire. Many of these Walton place-names
are now probably lost.
The root of the name appears to be the Old English wahl or wealas, terms by which Anglo-Saxon
immigrants called the native Celts of the land. Walton – with the
suffix tun or “hamlet” – may
have been the name given to settlements where these Celts

Walton Resources on

Walton Ancestry

Walton has been very much a northern name. Early
records show a
de Walton family in Cheshire from the 1200’s. Waltons of the
1600’s included:

  • Izaak
    , author of The
    Compleat Angler
    , who was born in Stafford
  • Brian Walton, the priest and author of the Polyglot Bible, who
    was born in north Yorkshire
  • and Swithin Walton, who followed Cromwell to Ireland and came
    from Leicestershire.

The Walton lead mining dynasty which spanned five generations began
with William Walton in Alston, Cumberland in the mid 1700’s. His
Walton family
at Alston
was to shape the mining industry in the north
Pennines for the
next two hundred years. Jacob Walton who headed the business in
the first half of the 19th century was to be its dominating
personality. Alastair Robertson’s 2004 book The Walton Family recounted the

Some Waltons at Weardale in Durham were at one time lead
miners. Roland Walton was recorded as being born in
Stanhope around 1692. Many Waltons there were Primitive
Methodists. One line led via John Walton, the coal merchant of
Walton & Gowland, to his son Joseph who became a prominent colliery
owner and Liberal politician.

The Walton
surname was brought to Ireland by English settlers. Captain
Swithin Walton established himself at Oysterhaven Bay, Kinsale in
county Cork in 1643. His family built a Georgian house, Walton
Court, on the property in the late 18th century.

“The Walton family archives and
historical documents show that they were a colorful family, relying on
smuggling brandy and silk from France for their living, outrunning the
English coastguard cutters in and out of the many local bays and

Robert Walton of this family emigrated to America and became a
civic engineer in Cincinnati, Ohio. In the 1880’s he built Walton
Court, a replica of his home in Ireland, at the Rugby community in
Tennessee founded by the English author Thomas Hughes.

. The first Walton in America was probably the
Puritan Rev. William Walton who with his wife Elizabeth were among the
early settlers of Hingham, Massachusetts in 1635 before moving onto
Marblehead. Josiah Walton’s 1898 booklet Walton Family Records traced this
family’s history.

James Walton came to America from England in the 1770’s and settled in
Maine. His descendants moved west in the 19th century, living
first in Missouri and then in Oklahoma where Sam Walton, the founder of
, was born.

Wesley Walton
also grew up in
Maine. He too headed west and was a pioneer in Utah.

Virginia. Robert
Walton was said to have been an English soldier who had come to
America in 1682 and bought land in Prince Edward county,
Virginia. His great grandson George, orphaned there as a child,
moved to Savannah and, as a representative for Georgia, was a signer of
the Declaration of Independence.

One line of this family arrived in Burke county, North Carolina in the
1790’s and were among its early settlers. A descendant Thomas
Walton published an account of these times in his 1894 book Sketches of the Pioneers.
Meanwhile, another Walton from Prince Edward county, William Walton,
migrated west in 1792 to the St. Louis area when it was still under
Spanish control. His son, Judge James Walton, owned several
plantations there.

John Walton, an immigrant into
Virginia in the 1640’s, is thought to have been the predecessor of the
Walton of Hanover county, Virginia who died in 1772, just prior to the
Revolution. He was a herbal or
“botanical” doctor by profession, the first of four generations of
physicians in this line.

His children
spread after the war:

  • the older siblings were dissenting Baptists who departed
    for Kentucky and Tennessee. Their
    offspring later went further westward to Missouri and Texas. Grandson Jessie
    made it to Texas.
  • while the younger children headed south to Georgia
    and later generations to Alabama and Florida.

The Waltons was a
fictional American TV series that ran from 1972 to 1981 and focused on
a family growing up in a rural Virginia community during the Great
Depression and World War Two. These Waltons traced
themselves back to the fictional Rome Walton who came and settled in
what came
to be known as Waltons Mountain in 1789.

Among the 102 emigrants from Alston in Cumberland on the Jason
in 1818 departing to Canada with
the promise of Government land grants were two Waltons, Robert and John. Joseph Walton from Alston settled with his
family in Smith township in Peterborough county, Ontario a year later;
while Thomas
and Jane Walton made their home in Scarborough township.

New Zealand. Joseph and Mary
Ann Walton and their son Joseph Lewis from Yorkshire came third class
on the Empress to Auckland in 1865.
Gordon Nicholls’ 1996 book A Walton Family History
covered the son
Joseph Lewis Walton (who died in 1925) and his contemporaries.

Walton Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:

Walton Names

Izaak Walton was the
author of The Compleat Angler.
George Walton was a signer in
1776 of the Declaration of Independence. He later served as
Georgia Governor and Senator.
Nancy Bird Walton was a
pioneering Australian aviatrice.
Sir William Walton was an
English composer who made his name in the 1920’s and 30’s.
Sam Walton was the
founder of the ubiquitous retail chain Wal-Mart. He opened his
first store in Arkansas in 1962.

Select Waltons Today

  • 38,000 in the UK (most numerous
    in Kent)
  • 26,000 in America (most numerous in Texas)
  • 12,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Australia)



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