Ailsford History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
In ancient Anglo-Saxon England, the ancestors of the Ailsford surname lived beside or close to an old ford.
Early Origins of the Ailsford family
The surname Ailsford was first found in Lincolnshire at Alford, a market-town and parish, in the union of Spilsby, Wold division of the hundred of Calceworth.  The place name derives its name from an old ford over a stream that twice runs through it. The first record of the place name was found in the Domesday Book of 1086 where it was listed as Alforde. 
Alford Manor House is located there and is believed to be the largest thatched manor house in England, built about 1611. Alford Windmill is a five-sailed windmill, the only survivor of the four original windmills that operates today grinding grain to organic flour.
Alford is also a village and parish on the River Alham, in Somerset. This latter local was listed in the Domesday Book as Aldedeford and in this case it literally meant "ford of a woman called Ealdgyth."  "In the 9th of Elizabeth, Francis Alforde claimed the manor [of Widness with Appleton in Lancashire] by grant from the queen." 
Another Alford is found in Surrey where it is a village and civil parish on the West Sussex border. It is difficult to determine which of these parishes was the original home of this family, but more than likely the Lincolnshire estates were the first owned by the family group. The family later migrated to Berkshire, where it became a family of great prominence.
Early History of the Ailsford family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ailsford research. Another 150 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1184, 1273, 1275, 1634, 1641, 1763, 1908, 1587, 1652, 1587, 1590, 1649, 1626, 1648, 1595, 1653, 1628, 1644, 1645, 1691, 1679, 1690, 1626, 1636, 1686 and 1761 are included under the topic Early Ailsford History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Ailsford Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Ailsford are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Ailsford include: Allford, Alford, Aleford, Aldeford, Alforde, Allferd, Alferd, Allforth, Alforth, Alsford and many more.
Early Notables of the Ailsford family (pre 1700)
Notables of the family at this time include Michael Alford (1587-1652), a Jesuit and ecclesiastical historian, whose real name was Griffiths, was born in London in 1587; John Alford (c. 1590-1649), an English landowner and politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1626 and 1648; Sir Edward Alford (ca. 1595-1653), an English landowner and politician who sat...
Another 58 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ailsford Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Ailsford family
Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Ailsford or a variant listed above: Richard Alford, who settled in Virginia in 1624; at the age of 26. He was followed by John, also to Virginia in 1663; and Nico Alford who settled in St. Christopher, Florida, in 1635..
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- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)