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Surname Moulton - Meaning and Origin

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Moulton: What does the surname Moulton mean?

The last name Moulton is of Anglo-Saxon origin and is derived from the Old English elements "Mol" which means "Mule" and "Tun" which means "Settlement or Farm". Hence, Moulton broadly refers to “a farm where mules are reared or kept”. This suggests that the early bearers of this last name likely raised mules, a common occupation in medieval England as mules were extensively used as pack animals. It is also a locational surname associated with various places named Moulton in England. Therefore, the surname Moulton could also indicate geographical origin, suggesting that the original bearers of the surname hailed from areas named Moulton. Like many surnames, over the centuries, its spelling may have evolved and it can appear in different variations.

Moulton: Where does the name Moulton come from?

The last name Moulton is most common in the United States today. According to the US Census, there were over 17,500 people in 2014 with the last name Moulton.

Most of those can be found in the Northeastern United States and New England. People with the last name Moulton can be found in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, and Maine.

The main origin of the Moulton family name is English. Moultons are thought to have originated in large numbers in the 1600s in Devon, England. It's believed the Moulton family had a strong relationship with the Norman family and that together they were loyal to their king. It's also thought that many of the Moultons were servicemen in support of the king.

It is also believed that the Moulton family played a large role in the early settlement of America. It is thought that the Moultons of England began traveling to North America around 1630. It was during this period of emigration that the most Moultons were recorded in the US Census.

Today, Moultons can be found in the United States, as well as other countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

Variations of the surname Moulton

The surname Moulton has many variants, spellings, and related surnames. Moulton can be spelled a variety of ways: Moulton, Moulten, Moultonne, Molton, Moultonne, Multhon, Moultene, and Moulthon. The name is derived from the Middle English personal name Moult, a nickname meaning “stout, robust” indicating someone of large stature. It can also be derived from the Old Norse given name Molt, meaning “pacifier” or “wolf.”

Related surnames include Melton, Meltonne, Mullen, Molyneux, Molinari, Molnar, Meldon, and Molden. Variations of Moulton within the United States are more commonly found in the southern states such as Texas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas. Moultons can also be found in other countries, such as Australia and England.

Alternate spellings of Moulton, such as Moultonne and Moulten, are also common. Moultonne might be used to indicate descendants from a Moult family, as a compound of several other names, or as an adaption to other countries’ languages or dialects. Moulten is less common as an alternate spelling, but is likely an anglicization of the name, as is Molten.

The surname Moulton is widely considered to be of French origin, derived from the Old French personal name Moult. Other origins for the surname Moulton include Ancient British from the Welsh family known as the Moledons, or from the Old French moult (much, many) or Mulcton (assuming Old English Moltan). The fact that the Moulton surname is found in all parts of the United Kingdom adds to the speculation of multiple origins.

Famous people with the name Moulton

  • Alex Moulton: British engineer, inventor and designer, renowned for his invention of the full-suspension Moulton Bicycle.
  • John Moultou: English Anglican priest and long-serving Vicar of Bemerton, near Salisbury, Wiltshire.
  • Sylvester Moulton: English painter of portrait miniatures.
  • Heaton Moulton: English priest and historian.
  • John Moulton: American lawyer and inner-city developer.
  • William Moulton Marston: American psychologist, lawyer, and comic book writer.
  • Sobrina Moulton: American poet.
  • Abigail Moulton: English playwright.
  • Derrick Moulton: Canadian singer-songwriter.
  • Chauncy Moulton: American Revolutionary War officer.
  • Leona Moulton: British artist and sculptor.
  • Harry Moulton: British actor, writer, director and producer.
  • Eleanor Moulton: American astronomer and mathematician.
  • John Moulton: English clergyman, Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge, and Bishop of Down, Connor and Dromore.
  • Elizabeth Moulton: American author and lecturer.
  • Caroline Moulton: Quaker leader in men’s and women’s rights.
  • Theodore Moulton: American Union Army general of the American Civil War.
  • Lizzie J Moulton: American medical doctor, one of the first women in the United States to be trained as a medical doctor.
  • Cynthia Moulton: American classically trained concert pianist, vocalist, composer, director, and theatre producer.
  • Willard Moulton: American lawyer and politician.

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