Family name derived from the Barony of Preston in Midlothian, the name first appears in Scotland in the 13th century. In 1454, William Preston brought from France the arm bone of St. Giles, which he gifted to St. Giles Kirk in Edinburgh. Sir Simon Preston of Craigmillar was Provost of Edinburgh in 1557. The name is also associated with the Prestons of Valleyfield, near Culross in Fife.

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