Aleford History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The present generation of the Aleford family is only the most recent to bear a name that dates back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name comes from having lived beside or close to an old ford.
Early Origins of the Aleford family
The surname Aleford 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.
Important Dates for the Aleford family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Aleford 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 Aleford History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Aleford Spelling Variations
Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Aleford include Allford, Alford, Aleford, Aldeford, Alforde, Allferd, Alferd, Allforth, Alforth, Alsford and many more.
Early Notables of the Aleford 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 Aleford Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Aleford family
Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Aleford were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: 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..
- ^ 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)