The surname of PRESTON was a locational name 'of Preston'. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land and indicated where he actually lived. There are no less than 24 parishes of the name situated in every part of England. The name was originally derived from the Old English word PREOSTATUN, literally meaning the dweller by the residence of the priests. The earliest of the name on record is PRESTEONA (without surname) who was listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1066. The name appears as PRESTONE (without surname) in 1157, County Chester, and Preston Juxta Moneford was documented in 1199, County Chester. Johannes de Pryston of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Rowland Preston and Ann Mellowe were married in London in the year 1562. An interesting member of the name was Margaret Rose Preston, born in 1875. She was educated in Sydney and Melbourne, and in 1904 went to Germany where she attended the Government Art School for Women in Munich. She travelled widely in Europe, and returned to Sydney in 1919. She was an active champion of aboriginal paintings, and its influence is clearly seen in her still-lifes of Australian flowers and her wood and linocut engravings. She died in 1963.
In many parts of central and western Europe, hereditary surnames began to become fixed at around the 12th century, and have developed and changed slowly over the years. As society became more complex, and such matters as the management of tenure, and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to distinguish a more complex system of nomenclature to differentiate one individual from another.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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