The 'Colton' Family



William Colton
1790 - 1839
In those early years we find the surname 'Colton' spelt in several ways 'Coulton' / 'Cotton'. Many people in those times were not able to read or write so they would have been reliant on the transcriber and in all fairness they in turn would have have been influenced by dialects. As time progressed we see that the families preference was 'Colton'.


William Colton  


1790 Newington, Surrey
Died: 1859 St Lawrence, Reading - Jun quarter (2c 241) - age 69
Parents unknown Colton - see below
unknown - see below
At the bottom of this page I have found what could be the parents or grandparents of William or a least have some sort of family connection. - It needs checking but at this time I am not able to get access to the parish records.




Hannah unknown  


1795 Tilehust , Berkshire
Died: 1856 St Gile, Reading - Sep quarter (2c 209) - age 61
Parents unknown



About 1822 No record has been found at this time




Date of birth:
Birth Place:
Arthur Colton 1822 Reading, Berkshire
David Henry Colton 1824 Reading, Berkshire
Walter Colton 1826 Reading, Berkshire
Rosanna Colton 1835 Reading, Berkshire

File Information:

It is interesting to see that the whole family were involved in the silk industry Queen Elizabeth 1st took much interest in Reading. In 1560, she granted to the Corporation a new charter, greatly enlarging their powers and privileges. It was she who sent a large number of mulberry trees to Reading in order to encourage the industry of silk-weaving from 1640 silk was made in Reading.
The 1841 census for Berkshire shows there were just two silk throwsters (millers) employing 101 males and 100 females. Berkshire silk mills were at Reading, Newbury, Wokingham and Twyford. This last silk mill closed in 1829, and like all the others the decline was brought about by the treaty with France allowing French silk to enter this country duty free
So it appears that William and Hannah could have been some of the last people working in the silk industry in Reading.

1841: Census - St Giles, Reading
William Colton born abt 1790 age 51 - Silk Weaver
Hannah Colton born abt 1795 age 46 - Silk Weaver
Arthur Colton born about abt 1822 age 19 - Silk Weaver
Walter Colton
born abt 1826 age 15 - Silk Weaver
Resuma Colton born abt 1835 age 6

1851: Census: 5 Vine Court, Reading, Berkshire
William Coulton born 1791 age 60 - Hand Lomer Weaver (Silk) -born Newington, Surrey
Hannah Coulton born 1794 age 57 - Hand Lomer Weaver (Silk) - born Tilhurst, Berkshire
David Coulton born 1824 age 27 - Tailor Journeyman - born at Reading

Walter Coulton born 1826 age 25 - Hand Lomer Weaver (Silk) - born at Reading
Rosanna Coulton born 1836 age 15 - Servant House - born at Reading

Meanwhile William's son Arthur Colton (1822) was living with or next door
1851: Census - 5 Vine Court, Reading
Arthur Colton - Head - age 29 - Silk Weaver - Reading
Maria Colton - Wife - age 33 - Reading
George D Colton - Son - age 4 - Reading
Andrew Colton - Son - age 2 - Reading

1856: Hannah Colton died at St Gile, Reading - Sep quarter (2c 209) - age 61

1859: William Colton died at St Lawrence, Reading - Jun quarter (2c 241) - age 69


In the Old Churchyard of St Mary, Newington, Surrey are the following gravestones, could the first one belong to William's grandparents and the one below Williams father?

In memory of
Louisa Maria
Daughter of Thomas and Martha Colton
who died
March 2nd 1797 Aged 8 Years
Also of Mr Thomas Colton
Father of the above
who died the 8th of June 1805
Aged 60 years
Thomas Colton
1745 - 1805


In Memory
William Colton
who died 23rd November 1814
Aged 37 years

William Colton
1777 - 1814



Letter relating to the banns of William Colton and Doris Woodiwiss - does this belong to William above?

The name Colton is part of the ancient legacy of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is a product of when the family lived in Colton. There are places named Colton in Staffordshire and Norfolk. Although the Staffordshire origin is more common some families’ names are derived from the Norfolk location.

The first directories that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardise the English language. Before that time spelling variations in names were common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of Colton has been spelled many different ways including, Colton, Coulton and others.





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