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Surname Alston - Meaning and Origin

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Unraveling the Diverse Global Origins of the Alston Surname Through My iGENEA DNA Test

As an individual who appreciates the importance of roots and heritage, I decided to embark on a personal journey of self-discovery. The iGENEA DNA test results offered an unprecedented insight into the history of my surname, Alston. What I uncovered was an unexpectedly diverse origin, influencing my understanding of my lineage, ancestry, and sense of identity.

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Alston: What does the surname Alston mean?

The surname Alston is of English origin and has geographical roots originating from a few distinct places named Alston in England. The name, which dates back to the early Middle Ages, is derived from old English words – ‘eald’, meaning old, and ‘tūn’, meaning settlement or farm. Thus, it can be roughly translated as "old settlement" or "old farm". It was typically given to individuals who lived in or were associated with these areas. Over time, Alston spread across the English-speaking world as a result of migration and is now found in various regions, including the United States, Australia, and Canada among others. Like many surnames, the exact spelling can differ among bearers of the name, with variations including Alstone, Allston, and Halstone.

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Alston: Where does the name Alston come from?

The surname Alston originates from England, specifically from Anglo-Saxon tribes who ruled over Britain. Alston is a locality-based last name. It traces its roots back to a place called Alston in the county of Cumberland, Northern England. The name essentially means "the old settlement" or "old farmstead," derived from the Old English words "eald" (old) and "tun" (enclosure, settlement).

Today, the Alston surname is prevalent in the United States, England, and Scotland. In the US, it is particularly common along the eastern coast. It's also found in lower frequencies in Australia and Canada. Many black Americans carry the surname Alston since it was the name of numerous slave-owning families in Southern states, particularly North Carolina, during the 17th and 18th centuries. This also resulted in several historical landmarks in the South, such as Alston House in North Carolina, being named after the family.

Variations of the surname Alston

The surname Alston is of English origin and is believed to be a geographical surname, deriving from a place name. There are several variations and alternative spellings of the surname Alston which are likely due to regional pronunciations and dialects. These include: Allston, Alstone, Halston, Hailstone, Elliston, Ellistone, and Elston.

The name has also been associated with other surnames of similar spelling or phonetic resemblance. These likely share a common root or may be derived from Alston, such as: Aylston, Olston, Austen, Aston, and Oston.

There's also a possible connection with surnames based on personal names, such as Halstead, meaning someone who came from Halstead (a town in Essex). Another variant is Alstine, which is likely of Germanic origin and could be a variant of the German surname Alstein or Alstien.

Surnames related to occupations or topographical features, such as Allstone (from 'old stone'), could also be considered as variants. Variant forms of Alston might also occur due to clerical errors, changes in spelling over time, or translations into other languages.

Famous people with the name Alston

  • Walter Alston: He was a famous American baseball player and manager in Major League Baseball (MLB). He managed the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers between 1954 and 1976.
  • Ovie Alston: A popular American jazz trumpeter and bandleader, most prolific in the 1930s.
  • Rafer Alston: He is a retired professional basketball player who played in the NBA. He is most known for his time with the Orlando Magic, Miami Heat, and Houston Rockets.
  • Gerald Alston: An American R&B singer who was the lead singer of the Manhattans, a soul music group.
  • Lyn Alston: An American football player who played for the Indianapolis Colts in the National Football League (NFL).
  • James L. Alston: He was a member of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first group of African-American military pilots in the United States armed forces.
  • Todrick Alston: He started his career as a college football player and then transitioned to a business career, heavily involved in various real estate and construction projects.
  • Sharif Alston: A professional Australian rules footballer.
  • James Alston: A former English cricketer.
  • Woody Alston: A former American Football player for the Miami Dolphins.

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