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Preston Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: PRAESTO UT PRAESTEM (I undertake what I may perform)

Let me share with you the vibrant history of your family, the Prestons, a narrative that has woven its way through the tapestry of time. The name Preston holds a rich origin, likely linked to lands that were once associated with a church or monastery, designated as the ‘priest’s town.’ This name echoes in both the north of England and the Lowlands of Scotland, a testament to its widespread significance.

Your family’s legacy dates back to early records, with a notable appearance on a charter in 1222. According to George Black, the name could also trace its roots to the Prestoun barony, subsequently known as Gourtoun and Craigmillar, in the heart of Midlothian. The name Nicol de Prestone, Prestone of that Ilk, is inscribed on the historic Ragman Roll, signifying the enduring presence of your family in the annals of history.

Generations unfolded, with Sir John de Preston’s valiant journey beside David II during the ill-fated English invasion, leading to his capture at the Battle of Durham. Your family’s story intertwined with the iconic Craigmillar Castle, purchased by Sir Simon de Preston in 1374, and frequented by the ill-fated Mary, Queen of Scots.

The legacy continued with notable figures like Sir William Preston of Craigmillar, who graced the Scottish Parliament in 1478, and Sir Simon Preston, a leading figure who served as Lord Provost of Edinburgh in 1567. His contributions extended beyond politics, as he secured a charter for the establishment of Trinity Church and Hospital, a testament to your family’s commitment to the welfare of the less fortunate.

The annals of time reveal further chapters, including the elevation of Sir Richard Preston to ‘Lord Dingwall’ and Earl of Desmond in the Peerage of Ireland in 1609. Through his daughter, this title passed into the Butler family. The Prestons of Craigmillar shifted their roots to Perthshire, acquiring the barony of Valleyfield. The legacy of service and influence persisted, with George Preston of Valleyfield securing a baronetcy of Nova Scotia in 1637. The Preston name found itself entwined with significant historical moments, including the Jacobite uprising and the American War of Independence.

As time flowed on, the Prestons continued to shine in various spheres, contributing to fields like theology, engineering, and the music industry. Your family’s journey is one of resilience, influence, and impact. It’s a narrative of individuals who stood strong in their convictions, leaving an indelible mark on history. As you reflect on your family’s story, you can take pride in the legacy of your ancestors, a legacy that continues to inspire and shape the world.


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.

(I undertake what I may perform)



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