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The Ayton (Aiton) Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: DECERPTAE DABUNT ODORUM (Roses plucked will give a sweet smell)

Let me share with you the intriguing history of your family name, Aiton, or commonly spelled as Ayton. It is believed to originate from the lands of Ayton in Berwickshire. The very first ancestor of your family was Gilbert, an Anglo-Norman knight who acquired the Aiton lands in the eleventh century and adopted the name as his own. Over time, various spellings of the name emerged.

Ayton Family History

Like many other families, the earliest recorded Aitons were Norman knights. Steffan, son of Swan de Aeitun, granted lands to Coldingham Priory around 1170. The family seat was located at Ayton, where an ancient castle once stood. It was undoubtedly a site of frequent border disputes, although no remnants remain today. During the early stages of the Scottish War of Independence against Edward I of England, Matthew of Ayton was listed as a Scottish prisoner held at Chester Castle in 1296. William Eyton of Eyton appears in the Ragman Rolls, submitting to Edward in 1291, 1292, and 1296.

Moving ahead several centuries, we find Andrew Ayton (d. 1547), who held the title of ‘Master of the Works’ for the royal household of James IV. He was entrusted with making purchases on behalf of the king and collected taxes in Fife. Andrew supervised construction projects at Stirling Castle until 1511.

The main hereditary line of the Ayton family eventually ended with an heiress. However, the seventeenth century witnessed the rise of many notable individuals within your family. Sir Robert Ayton (1570–1638), a distinguished poet in the court of James VI, showcased his talents in Scots, Latin, Greek, and even English. He served as an ambassador to the Holy Roman Empire and later became the secretary to Henrietta Maria, the wife of Charles I.

Another notable figure, Sir John Aytoun of Kippo (d. 1700), served as usher to Black Rod during the reign of Charles II. Sir Robert Aytoun of Kenaldie held the position of secretary to Queen Anne. Sir John Aitoun of that Ilk was an investor in the ill-fated Darien scheme.

Additionally, there were William Aiton and his son, also William Aiton, who both made significant contributions in the field of botany. The elder William Aiton, born near Hamilton, gained favor with George III and played a crucial role in establishing the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew. His son succeeded him as director at Kew Gardens in 1793 and was commissioned by the Prince Regent, later known as George IV, to design the gardens at the Royal Brighton Pavilion and Buckingham Palace.

Your family name, Aiton, carries a rich tapestry of history and notable individuals who have left their mark in various fields, from poetry and diplomacy to gardening and public service.


The Family Crest

Wherever in the world you live, embrace your family heritage and adorn your home with a timeless symbol of your family legacy with our crafted Family Crests.

Family Crest Motto: DECERPTAE DABUNT ODORUM (roses plucked will give a sweet smell)



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