Skylark's William Preston Page

The de Prestone surname is of ancient Norman origin, arriving in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Preston/Prestone/Presson family lived at Lincolnshire at Preston from which they derive the name. The name comes from Old English words "preost" meaning "priest," and "tun" meaning an enclosure or settlement. Our branch of the de Preston family dates to Knight Templar in 12th Century England under the reign of King Henry II. The first of this family is believed to be Jenico (abt 927); Ricus (Richard the Keen) Leolphus de Preston under the reign of William the Lion, whose grandson, William de Preston (Knight) a Scottish noble, was summoned to Berwick by Edward I.

Motto: "If God wills it!"

The surname of William Preston's wife, Elizabeth Sale is also of French origins, de la Sale, a placename from the River Sale in France. Another of this name in England, was Robert de la Sale, was called The Frenchman. (1216-1272) Spelling Varients: Sayle/Salle/Sail.

The history of William Preston of Gigglewick, York, England, hail from the family of Sir John Preston, (husband of Margaret Redmayne-Daughter of Richard Redmayne of Harewood Castle) Sir John de Preston, believed to be the son of Richard de Preston, was a member of parliment under the reign of Edward III, during the years of 1363, 1366, and 1373. French born Prestons in Gigglewick, Yorkshire who may be related are Thomas Preston born abt 1741 in Normandy, France, who died in 1802 and is buried in Giggleswick, Yorkshire, England.

Richard de Preston was juror on the inquisition of William de Lindsay II during the reign of Edward I. Sir Richard, born in Westmorland had the honor of being a knight during the lifetime of his father, Sir John de Preston. This lineage can be traced through Archibald Preston born 1395-1415, who was the son of James Preston (son of Thomas Preston) who married Corelle Critel. Archibald Preston II (born 1445) who married Jean Erskine. Archibald Preston I (born 1415) married married Giles Simple.

William PRESTON - bap. Jan. 28, 1590/1, Giggleswick, York, England; d. 1647, New Haven, New Haven Co., CT. Son of Adam PRESTON and Isabel BRAITHWAITE. Churchwarden at Chesham in 1617. He was a solicitor and therefore likely a man of education. Embarked for New England Sep. 19, 1635 in the Truelove with all living children except Edward and Daniel, who came to New England earlier in the year.

William signed the fundamental agreement on Jun. 4, 1639 at New Haven, CT, and took the oath of fidelity on Jul. 1, 1644. (William Preston 23 Jan 1591 Giggleswick, Yorkshire, England Church warden. Lived at what is now corner of Chapel and State Streets New Haven Ct d 1647. His will of Jul. 9, 1647 reads in part "I have an Estate in old-England... given by my father to my Elder Brother and myself... Left in ye hands of... mr William Lawson and Mr Wm Bankes to be kept in trust... in Yorkeshire in a Towne called Gigleweke In Craven... to be divided amoungst the children I had by my former wife, as Daniell Edward and John preston and my daughter Elizabeth Sarah & Mary and to my wife...." William's estate was inventoried "ye 30th day of ye 6th month 1647" (Aug. 30, 1647) at 65.15. Married first Oct. 11, 1613, Chesham, Buckingham, England; and second 1634-1635 Mary (surname unknown). As widow of Edward, Mary married second about 1661 Thomas KIMBERLY.

Elizabeth SALE - bap. Jun. 8, 1590, Chesham, Buckingham, England; bur. Feb. 22, 1634/5, Chesham, Buckingham. Mother of first eight children. Daughter of Edward SALE and Elizabeth GIFFORD.

Children of William and Elizabeth Preston

The Preston surname is of French origins, having been written as "dePreston." Following the Norman Conquest, French families flooded into the country and became the Feudal lords appropriating much of the land.

At the time of the 1066 Norman Conquest of Britain Lancashire did not yet exist as a recognisable entity. Soon after the conquest, however, William the Conqueror doled out parcels of land as he had promised to those Norman barons who had supported him in the invasion. The lands between the River Ribble and the River Mersey, (which would eventually become the Salford Hundred), were granted to Roger de Poitou. Sometime around 1090, his son, William Rufus, added Lonsdale, Cartmel and Furness (now in Cumbria in the southern Lake District) to these estates, and the boundaries of what came to be known as the County of Lancashire were set down. Lancaster was chosen as the headquarters of the region and a castle built there from which to administer the lands that Poitou now oversaw.

For his part in an unfortunate and abortive rebellion In 1102 against King Henry I saw all of his estates confiscated by the crown and given to Stephen de Blois.

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations such as Prestone, Preston, Presson and others. Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded. The Preston surname is recorded by the Huguenot Historical Society as having roots in the Reformation Movement. The Preston name is found in Lincolnshire where they were granted estates after the Norman Conquest. We also know of 2 important families who were given lands near the town of Preston in Lancashire. Preston in Ireland is a Northern English Place name from the numerous locations, (including Lancashire) derived from Old English preost = Priest + tun = enclosure, Preston is a Northern English Place name from the numerous locations, including Lancashire) derived from Old English preost = Priest + tun = enclosure, used to described a village held by the church or village with a priest. They changed their names and became the "de Prestons" One of these families (from Anjou) stayed in Lancashire and the other (from Burgundy) moved to County Meath in Ireland in about 1250. Later spelling of Preston was probably adopted after the Norman Conquest. It's derived from an English surname which was originally derived from a place name meaning "priest town" (Old English preost and tun).

William's will mentions land at Giggleswick, County York in England, inherited by his elder brother and himself from his father (possibly Adam Preston and wife Isabel Braitwhet). He lived in Chesham, County Bucks before emigrating shortly after his second marriage. William, his new second wife Mary and four youngest children came to America in 1635 on the "Truelove" , one of 17 ships to sail from London to Boston that year whereas eldest son Edward arrived later on the Christian. He settled in Dorchester, and removed to New Haven to be among first subscribers of the compact, 1639. The book Preston Genealogy gives a confusing English genealogy mentioning Valley Field estate in Yorkshire.

As to William's parentage, a varying theory is published in a book called "Genealogical and Family History of the State of Connecticut". It states his father was John Preston, who was a different son of George (d.23 Apr.1685) and Anna Saunders. (George is the same grandfather in both lineages found for William.) George (or his father George?) of Valley Field was given the title of Baronet of Nova Scotia in 1637. (F-436c) George's death date is listed 100 years too late in this document which is also quoted next by Sharon Metcalf: "PRESTON The name Preston is of great antiquity in North Britain and was assumed by the family from territorial possessions in Midlothian in the time of Malcolm, King of Scots. Leolphus De Preston of the time of William the Lion in 1040 was grandfather of Sir William De Preston, one of the Scotch noblemen summoned to Berwick by Edward I. in the competition for the Crown of Scotland between Bruce and Baliol, the decision having been referred to Edward, After the death of Alexander III. in 1291, this Sir William De Preston was succeeded by his son. Nicol de Preston, one of the Scottish barons who swore fealty to King Edward I. He died in the beginning of the reign of David II. of Scotland, son of Robert Bruce, and was succeeded by his son, Sir Lawrence De Preston, who. in turn, was succeeded by Richard De Preston, who was seated at Preston Richard in Westmoreland in the time of Henry II. Sir Richard De Preston, fifth in descent from the above, Richard of Preston Richard, represented the county of Westmoreland in parliament in the seventeenth year of Edward III. His son, Sir Richard De Preston, had likewise the honor of being Knight of the Shire for Westmoreland in the same reign. twenty-seventh, Edward III., and in the same year, 1368, obtained license to empark five hundred acres. His successor was Sir John De Preston, of Preston Richard and Preston Patrick, and was member of parliament for Westmoreland in the thirty-sixth, thirty-ninth and forty-sixth years of Edward III. His son Richard had no male issue; his son John was judge of the court of common pleas in the reigns of Henry IV. and VI. and retired from the bench in consequence of great age in 1427. Children of Judge John Rev. John; Richard, his heir; and a daughter.

Will of William Preston, dated 9 Jul 1647, presented 7 Sep 1647 in New Haven I,William Preston, a member of the Church of New Haven, being upon my death bed as I conceave, thorugh the blessing of God have my understanding and memory perfect as in years past, doe make and ordayne this my last will and testament in manner and forme followinge: To Joseph Alsop's wife, my daughter, i give 20 s or if her husband be willing to take 3 acres of land, lying in first division by the seaside and build and dwell there he may. But if he intend not to dwell there, the 20 s is all she can demand.

My son Edward, I giv him in the same lott before mentioned three acres of round if my wife see it may be a beneift to him to further him is way according to God or else 20 s is all he can demand. To my son Danyell I give 20 s and John is to have 20 s when he comes to bee twenty years of adge; and I give my daughter Mary 20 s to be paid when she is nineteen years of adge, and for the rest, when the time for payment is not mentioned I leave it to my wfie when she can conveninetly pay it.

As for Mr. Meaker's wife, in that upon her marriadge, and since, I have given her is more that I can give to any of her brothers and issters, yet I give her 5 shillings. As for the rest of my estate which consists in house, lands and cattles, moveable goods which I have here in New Haven in New England, I give all to my wife for the rbinging up of my children that God hath gien me by her, in consideration swhe was a means to bring mee and the rest to New England. I have an estate in Old England, and for part of my house and land and other goods given by my father to my elder brother and myself wherein a foefment of law calling to counsel and left in the hands of two foefees, namnely Mr. William Lamsour and Mr. William Banks tobe kept in our behalfe when he should demand it, ourselves, heirs, executors, administrators or assigns, laying in Yorkshire in a town called Giglesweke in Craven. This land and goods what is of it, is to be divided into foure parts to be equally divided amongst the children I had by my former wife as Daniel, Edward and John Preston and my daughter Elizabeth, Sarah and Mary, and for my son John, I leave him in the hands of Brother Rogr Allen and Brother Thomas Munson, to palce him where they shall think good to dispose of him to such calling either by land or sea, as he shall like his calling and master. To these former I set my hand, William Preston as my owne act.

Witnesses: Roger Allen, Thomas Munson.


Note: Other Campbell family Colonial American surnames of French origins are Mehitable Norton born 1645 in Salem, Massachusetts to George Norton and Mary Michias. She married Samuel Adams. (born: 1624) The Norman French surname derives from the French de Norville which in France means North Village. The English Norton means North Town. The progenitor of the family of Norton is believed to have been descended from Seigneur de Norville, who went into England as Constable to William the Conqueror in the time of the Norman Conquest in 1066. In the sixth generation in descent from Seigneur de Norville, the direct male line assumed the English form of Nortown or Norton, the translation of the name which was brought from Normandy. Seigneur de Norville or Norton of the sixth generation of the family in England married a daughter of Sir John Hadscoke and had issue by her of a son who married the daughter of Monseigner Bassingbourne and had, among others Sir John Norton, who married a daughter of Lord Grey and was the father by her of several children, of whom the eldest son John made his home in Bedfordshire and was succeeded by his eldest son John, who had issue by his first wife, a Miss Danie, of an only son William, who died young, and by his second wife, Jane Cowper, of Thomas, Richard, Robert, Alice, John, and William, of whom the first son, Thomas, had a large family and was the ancestor of the English lines of the Nortons.