An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
Mountford is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Mountford family lived in Warwickshire. The name, however, is a reference to the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, one of two places Montfort-sur-Lisle near Argentan in the Normandy district, or Montfort near Pont-Audemer, also in Normandy.
The surname Mountford was first found in Warwickshire where the family claims descent from "Hugh de Montfort, son of Thurstan de Basternbergh, a Norman accompanied the Conqueror in 1066, and obtained for his services more than one hundred lordships in Kent, Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk."  Nicknamed "Hugh with a Beard," he was son of Thurstan de Bastenburgh. His descendant Peter de Montford was one of the most zealous amongst the turbulent barons of the era and after the Battle of Lewes was one of the nine nominated to rule the kingdom, but he later fell at the conflict of Eversham. The direct male line became extinct with his great-grandson, Peter de Montfort who died in 1367 leaving a illegitimate son, Sir John Montfort to carry on the family.  Other early notables include: Simon IV de Montfort, Seigneur de Montfort-l'Amaury, 5th Earl of Leicester (1165-1218), a French nobleman who took part in the Fourth Crusade (1202-1204) and died at the siege of Toulouse in 1218. His youngest son, Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester, 1st Earl of Chester (c. 1208-1265), led the barons' rebellion against King Henry III of England during the Second Barons' War of 1263-1264, and subsequently became de facto ruler of England. He and his eldest son Sir Henry de Montfort were killed on 4 August 1265 at the Battle of Evesham.
Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Montfort, Montford, Mountford, Mountfort and others.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mountford research. Another 195 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1282, 1283, 1285, 1294, 1664 and 1692 are included under the topic Early Mountford History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 101 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Mountford Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Mountford or a variant listed above:
Mountford Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Mountford Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
Mountford Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
This page was last modified on 3 December 2015 at 12:36.