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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Stafford family come from? What is the English Stafford family crest and coat of arms? When did the Stafford family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Stafford family history?

Stafford is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Stafford family lived in Staffordshire, at Stafford, from where their name is derived.


It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Stafford are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Stafford include Stafford, Staford, Strafford and others.

First found in Staffordshire where they were descended from Roger de Toeni, founder of the Abbey of Conches, who died in the Civil Wars in Normandy in 1038. His son, Ralph de Toeni, was hereditary Standard Bearer to King William the Conqueror, at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. His brother, Robert de Toeni, built a castle in Stafford and was the first to be surnamed Stafford. The family held eighty manors in thirteen Midland counties as recorded in the Domesday Book compiled in 1086, and from the senior line of this noble family descended the Dukes of Buckingham.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Stafford research. Another 259 words(18 lines of text) covering the years 1469, 1521, 1523, 1350, 1403, 1377, 1403, 1452, 1432, 1450, 1402, 1460, 1455, 1483, 1500, 1556, 1554, 1612, 1574, 1655, 1593, 1625, 1593, 1684, 1630 and are included under the topic Early Stafford History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 303 words(22 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Stafford Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Stafford family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 175 words(12 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Stafford, or a variant listed above:

Stafford Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • William Stafford, who settled in Virginia in 1622
  • Thomas Stafford, who settled in Rhode Island in 1630
  • Christopher Stafford, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Christopher Stafford, who arrived in Virginia in 1635
  • Jane Stafford, aged 29, landed in Barbados in 1635

Stafford Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Anthony Stafford, who arrived in New York in 1796

Stafford Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Patrick Stafford, who landed in America in 1802
  • Robert Stafford, aged 54, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Henry Stafford, aged 30, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Aaron Stafford, aged 31, landed in New York in 1812
  • Fanny Stafford, who settled in Boston with her husband Edward and five children in 1820


  • Jo Elizabeth Stafford (1917-2008), American singer greatly admired for the purity of her voice
  • Lieutenant General (USAF, Ret.) Thomas Patten Stafford (b. 1930), former NASA astronaut in the Gemini and Apollo programs with over 21 days in space
  • Jean Stafford (1915-1979), American short story writer and novelist, who won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1970
  • William Edgar Stafford (1914-1993), American poet and pacifist
  • Drew Stafford (b. 1985), American NHL ice hockey forward
  • James Francis Stafford (b. 1932), American Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church
  • Harry Stafford (1869-1988), English footballer
  • Mr. M. Stafford, age unknown, English Trimmer from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on collaspible B
  • Sir Thomas Stafford (1857-1935), British Privy councillor
  • William H. Stafford (1869-1957), United States Representative for Wisconsin



  • Stafford: Descendants of Abraham and Frances Melissa Dearman Stafford by Zuma Fendalson Magee.
  • the Staffords of North Carolina by Charles Warner Stafford.

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  1. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  2. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  3. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  4. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  7. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  8. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  9. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  10. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  11. ...

The Stafford Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Stafford Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 26 June 2014 at 09:42.

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