“ At an early period in the history of the Houstons, Sir John Houston, with a body of soldiers, reinforced a broken column, and for his great courage and unexampled energy was knighted on the field of battle. The greyhounds indicate the fleetness of his command in coming to the rescue; the last sand in the hourglass represents the perilous extremity of the army; and the motto (in time) its victory.”
The early history of the Huston family can be traced back to the thirteenth century and probably to a soldier of fortune whose arms had largely aided the then King of Scotland, and who was rewarded with what now constitutes the Houston estate near Johnstone, Scotland. From Crawford’s History of Rensfrewshire, ‘This donation is in the reign of Malcomb the IV as also in the same reign the lands of Kilpeter in Strathgrief are given by Baldwin de Bigress to Hugh de Padvinaw from which Hugh these lands were called Hugh’s town of whom is lineally descended, Sir John Houston, six generations later in the mid 1400s.’
The Houstons took a decided stand in favor of the Reformation; adopted early tenets of Calvin; sustained the religious views of John Knox; and were persecuted for their rigid adherence to the Bible and the Bible alone as the rule of their faith and practice, and to Presbytery as the scriptural form of church government. At this time in the early seventeenth century, a considerable emigration of the Scotch Houstons was made to the north of Ireland, one Robert Houston having been given three townships of land in Londonderry County. These Irish Houstons seem to have dropped the letter ‘o’ on their name and spelled it Huston. In Scotland, the name is pronounced ‘Hooston’. The early emigration of the Hustons to this country were of Scotch-Irish descent.
* From History of the Huston Families and Their Descendants, 1450-1912 with a Genealogical Record by E. Rankin Huston, © 1912