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

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

The ancestors of the Byford surname lived among the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. The name comes from when they lived near a ford, a shallow place in a river or stream which could be crossed by wading. The surname Byford is derived from the Old English words bi, which means by, and ford, which means ford. The surname Byford may also be derived from residence in the settlement of Byford in Hertfordshire.

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Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Byford include Biford, Biforde, Byford, Byforde, Bifford, Byfford, Biffard, Biffort, Byfford and many more.

First found in Herefordshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, long before the advent of the Norman Conquest of England by Duke William of Normandy in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Byford research. Another 149 words(11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Byford History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Byford Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Byford Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Thomas, William, and Martha Byford, arrived in Barbados in 1664

Byford Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • William Byford who arrived in Philadelphia in 1880

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  • Hazel Byford (b. 1941), English peer, Baroness Byford, Conservative member of the House of Lords
  • Mark Byford (b. 1958), Deputy Director General of the BBC
  • Donald Byford, Founder of D. Byford Co. Ltd
  • Charles Watson Byford, Justice of the Peace, and Lord Mayor of Leicester
  • Peter "Biff" Byford (b. 1951), British vocalist with the heavy metal band "Saxon"


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  1. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  3. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  4. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  5. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  6. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  7. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  9. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  10. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  11. ...

The Byford Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Byford 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 3 July 2014 at 11:15.

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