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Surname History/Origins:

This interesting name recorded as Seaton and Seton and occasionally Sayton, is of locational origin. The Seatons or Seton's of Scotland descend from a place near Longriddry which is named after a Norman family who came over with William the Conqueror, but who were granted lands in Scotland. These were the "de Sey", and to their name was added the Olde English 'tun', to give'the place of the (de) Sey'. The English Setons or Seatons derive their name from one of several places in Yorkshire, Devon, Durham, Cumberland or Northumberland, all on the coast . These originate from the pre 7thCentury English words "sae" meaning sea and "tun", a settlement, the village by the sea. It is understood that several such 'Seaton' villages may have literally been washed away over the centuries by coastal erosion. Early English recordings include that of John Seeton in the Nottinghamshire Coroners Rolls of 1557, whilst in Scotland William Seaton married Anna Wallace at Lanark, Glasgow on June 11th 1696. The coat of arms has the blazon of a red field, a silver bend between six gold martlets, 'arms' which suggest that the holders were not people of property, but relied on their professional ability to succeed. Amongst the famous name holders was Sir Thomas Seaton (1806 - 1876) originally a cadet in the East India Company army, who rose to Major General. He later wrote an autobiography of his experiences. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alexander Setone, which was dated 1150, recorded in the book 'Early Scottish Records',during the reign of King David 1 of Scotland, 1124 - 1153. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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Seton Lords and the Earls of Winton:

The title Earl of Winton was once created in the Peerage of Scotlandand again the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It is now held by the Earl of Eglinton.

The title was first bestowed on Robert Seton, 8th Lord Seton. His descendants held it until George Seton, 5th Earl of Winton was convicted of high treason in 1716, when his titles were forfeit. Lord Winton was also condemned to death, but he managed to escape the Tower of London, and went to Rome, where he later died.

In 1834 there were two claimants: the Earl of Eglinton, and George Seton as a descendant of Sir George Seton of Garleton.[1]

The title had a second creation for the thirteenth Earl of Eglinton, a kinsman of the last Earl from the first creation.

The Lords Seton were the Premier Barons of Scotland until the creation of the Earldom of Winton in 1600. Sir Richard Maitland of Lethington wrote in his History of the House of Seytoune to the Year 1559, that Sir William Seton, "... was the "First creatit and made Lord of Parliament in Scotland, and he and his posterity to have ane voit yairin and becall it Lords" by King Robert II, where there were no Lords of Parliament before that time. Noted accordingly in the records of the Scottish parliament,held at Scone 26 March 1371, at the coronation of Robert II, William de Setonis named among the "Nobles Barons", as "Dominus de Seton".As Knight-Baron's, the Seton's had previously sat in the original parliaments of Scotland from the earliest times, including those of David I, King Balliol, Robert I and David II. Anderson states George Seton accompanied Chancellor Crichton to France & Burgundy in 1448 and "was soon afterwards created a peer of parliament", which referred to the young Seton having finally come of age and being given his family's seat held by his grandfather, and not of the creation.[2] The Complete Peerage cites a jury on which "Sir George de Seton of that Ilk" served on 22 March1451 (1450/1), and states that "he was created, shortly after that date, a Lord of Parliament as Lord Seton [S]".[3][4][5][6]


Paternal ancestors of the 1st Lord Seton

The following is a list of the paternal ancestors of the Lords Seton, noting that the surname was originally Seton before changing to Wintoun, and then reverting to Seton with the 1st Lord Seton.

·         Walter "Dougall" de Seton (b.c 1060, Scotland)

·         Alexander de Seton (b.c.1087)

·         Philip de Seton (b.c.1135)

·         Alexander II Setoun de Wintoun, Knight (b.1164)

·         Alan Lord Wintoun of Soltre (d.c.1214)

·         3rd Lord Winton (c.1200)

·         A Winton (c.1250)

·         Alan Winton (b.1274)

·         Alan de Wyntoun of Seton (b.1291) (married Margaret de Seton)

Maternal ancestors of the 1st Lord Seton

·         Walter "Dougall" de Seton (b.c 1060, Scotland)

·         Alexander de Seton (b.c.1087)

·         Philip de Seton (b.c. 1135)

·         Alexander II Setoun de Wintoun, Knight (b.1164)

·         Adam de Seton (b.c. 1190 and d. 1249)

·         Christopher de Seton (d.1269)

·         Christopher de Seton (d.1298)

·         Christopher de Seton, Knight (b.1240 and d.1307)

·         Alexander de Seton, Knight (b.c. 1242 and d. 1307)

·         Sir Alexander IV Seton, Knight (b.c. 1266 and d. 1350)

·         Margaret de Seton (b.c. 1325) (married Alan de Wyntoun)












Lords Seton (1371)

Sir WilliamSeton, 1st Lord Seton (d. c. 1410), created 1st Lord Seton in 1371.(son of son of Alan de Wyntoun and Margaret de Seton).

Sir JohnSeton, 2nd Lord Seton (c. 1441)

WilliamSeton, Master of Seton (k. 1424 Battle of Verneuil)

George Seton, 3rd Lord Seton (d. 1478/9),succeeded his grandfather the 2nd Lord, while a minor, became 3rd Lord Seton in 1448

John Seton,Master of Seton (d. 1476)

George Seton,4th Lord Seton (d. 1507/8), succeeded his grandfather, the 3rd Lord.

George Seton, 5th Lord Seton (d. 1513), killed at Flodden.

George Seton, 6th Lord Seton (d. 1549)

George Seton, 7th Lord Seton (d. 1586)

Robert Seton, 8th Lord Seton (d. 1603) (created Earl of Winton in 1600)

Earls of Winton, First Creation (1600)

Robert Seton, 1st Earl of Winton (d. 1603)

Robert Seton, 2nd Earl of Winton (c. 1583–1634), resigned the Titles to his brother before 1617 during his own lifetime

George Seton, 3rd Earl of Winton (1584–1650)

George Seton, Lord Seton, Master of Winton (1613–1648)

George Seton, 4th Earl of Winton (1642–1704)

 George Seton, 5th Earl of Winton (d. 1749) (forfeit 1716)

It has been reported incorrectly that George Seton,5th Earl of Winton, had no children, however he did have a son named Charles Seton born in 1711 in Bellingham, Northumberland, England. Charles' descendants kept records, rings and a pedigree chart to prove their lineage. A compilation of these documents can be found in at the link below. Seton Earls of Winton Volume 1 of 3 [7]

Earls of Winton, Second Creation (1859)

See Earl of Eglinton


1.     Brown, Peter, publisher, The Peerage of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1834: 213

2.     Anderson, William, The Scottish Nation, Edinburgh, 1867, vol.viii: 437

3.     Cokayne, G. E., and White, Geoffrey H.,editor, The Complete Peerage, London, 1949, vol. xi, p. 633

4.     Seton, George A History of the Family of Seton during Eight Centuries. 2 vols. Edinburgh, 1896

5.     The History of the House of Seytoun to the Year MDLIX", Sir Richard Maitland of Lethington, Knight, with the Continuation, by Alexander Viscount Kingston, to MDCLXXXVII. Printed at Glasgow, MDCCCXXIX

6.     Seton, MonsignorAn Old Family, History of the Setons of Scotland and America; Brentano's, NewYork, 1899, 438 pp.

7.    Seton Earls of Winton by Hancock and Peck