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

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

The Wellsford surname and its variations are habitation names that have been taken on from various place names in Berkshire, Gloucestershire, Northhantsford, and elsewhere. These place names are generally derived from the Old English "welig," meaning "willow," or "well," denoting "a spring," combined with "ford."

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Welford, Wellford, Welsford, Wellsford and others.

First found in Berkshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book, [1] indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of Welford which was held by the Abingdon Abbey and was recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wellsford research. Another 202 words(14 lines of text) covering the year 1190 is included under the topic Early Wellsford History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Wellsford Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Samuel Wellsford, who arrived in New York, NY in 1822

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  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)

Other References

  1. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  2. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  3. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  5. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  6. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  8. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  9. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  10. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  11. ...

The Wellsford Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Wellsford 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 16 March 2010 at 08:19.

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