This interesting surname is English in origin, but also prominent in Ireland since the 13th century. It is locational name from any of the various places so named in England, the most notable one being in Lancashire. This is recorded as "Prestune" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as "Prestona" in 1094 in the Lancashire Charters. The placenames are composed of the same elements, which are the Olde English pre 7th Century "preost", priest and "tun", an enclosure or settlement; hence the meaning may have been either "village with a priest", or "a village held by the Church". Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace...
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