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Anderton Surname Variant Spellings

by Adrian-Philip Pearson

Surnames do not have fixed spellings, and it is a serious mistake in genealogy to think "this canít be my family because the name is spelt differently". Historically speaking, it is only recently that the population in general has become literate. When documents were written down, people wrote what they heard so the name could vary according to regional pronunciation. Take my motherís family who are now Rudducks with a U. They were Ruddocks with an O at the time of my great grandfather. Going back further it was more difficult to find my great great grandfather's brothers as one was written as Ruddick with an I and the other Ruddack with an A on the 1881 census!

With the Anderton surname it is a little more complicated. As everyone who bears the name will know, it is spelt incorrectly very often even today. The great tendency being to change it into Anderson, a much, much more common, but completely different name.

On trying to search for Andertons, particularly on the 1881 census of Great Britain, how many of them will have had their name transcribed incorrectly?

Here is a list of similar names with the number of people who bear that name on the 1881 census:

  • Anderton - 3,566 people (2,189 of them in Lancashire).

    View the Distribution Map of the Anderton Surname for the 1881 Census.

  • Anderson - 59,775 people.

    Any Andertons mistakenly transcribed with this name will be lost in the sea of Andersons.

  • Anterton - 1 person in London.

    This looks like being a very good candidate.

  • Andleton - 1 person in Kent
  • Handerton - 6 people (1 Lancashire, 2 Yorkshire, 2 Cheshire, 1 Derbyshire)
  • Handleton - 1 person Warwickshire
  • Anerton - 1 person in Surrey
  • Andton - 2 people in Surrey
  • Hanerton - 4 people in Suffolk
  • Anderdon - 5 people from Somerset

    Although this name seems to date back to the 1600ís in Somerset and can be traced quite easily as they were important landowners, I canít help thinking about the Somerset accent and its main characteristic of voicing consonants that are not normally voiced. eg Zomerzet instead of Somerset, Anderdon instead of Anderton?

  • Anderston - 18 people (2 Cheshire, 3 Wales, 13 Scotland)

    I know there is a place in Glasgow called Anderston, began in 1720 as a weaver's village and that the name came from the Anderson family of Stobcross who were the main landowning family in the area. The village became an industrial centre with the growth of Glasgow's cotton industry and perhaps this could give rise to a confusion of the name with a similar surname when taking the census.
    On further investigation, however, many of these were clearly transcription mistakes for Anderson as there were both forms in the same family group. Curious, however, that this mistake should occur only in Scotland but this leaves us with the question, are the Scottish Anderstons really Andertons or are the Andertons on the census in Scotland really Andersons?

    Lastly another possible transcription mistake could be with the name Adderton (and its variants):
  • Adderton / Aderton - 31 people
  • Atterton / Aterton - 139 people

    For information about this surname see The Adderton Website.

    If anyone has any comments or suggestions about variants of the Anderton surname or has come across any stories relating to confusing of the Anderton surname I would be pleased to hear from them.

    Return to: The Andertons of Lancashire

    Return to: The Anderton Surname Resource Centre