Skip to main content

Updated June 9, 2019

Family name origins & meanings

  • English : habitational name from a place near Manchester named Atherton, from the Old English personal name Æ{dh}elhere + Old English tūn ‘settlement’.
  • Major-General Humphrey Atherton arrived from England in 1636, settling at Dorchester, MA, and becoming governor of the colony. Joshua Atherton (1737–1809), probably a descendant of the major-general, was an early antislavery campaigner in MA.

Famous people who gave their babies this name

Join the Family

Your partner in parenting from baby name inspiration to college planning.