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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

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

The name Alford first arose amongst the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is derived from their having lived beside or close to an old ford.


One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Alford has appeared include Allford, Alford, Aleford, Aldeford, Alforde, Allferd, Alferd, Allforth, Alforth, Alsford and many more.

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. [1] 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." [2] 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.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Alford research. Another 299 words (21 lines of text) covering the years 1184, 1273, 1275, 1634, 1641, 1763, 1908, 1590, 1649, 1626, 1648, 1595, 1653, 1628, 1644, 1645, 1691, 1679, 1690, 1626, 1636, 1686 and 1761 are included under the topic Early Alford History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 179 words (13 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Alford Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Alford arrived in North America very early:

Alford Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Richard Alford, who settled in Virginia in 1624 at the age of 26
  • Richard Alford, who landed in Virginia in 1624
  • Nico Alford, aged 28, landed in St Christopher in 1635
  • Nico Alford who settled in St. Christopher, Florida, in 1635
  • Benedict Alford, who arrived in Connecticut in 1637

Alford Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Remain Alford, who arrived in New London, Conn in 1709
  • Joseph Alford, who arrived in Mississippi in 1798

Alford Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • James Alford, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750

Alford Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Thomas Alford, English convict from Wiltshire, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on July 3, 1822, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
  • Joseph Alford arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Abberton" in 1846
  • Charles Alford arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Harry Lorrequer" in 1849
  • Charles Alford, aged 20, arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Harry Lorrequer"
  • William Alford, aged 27, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Rodney"

Alford Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • William Alford, aged 20, a gardener, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Dilharree" in 1875


  • Clarence "Dean" Alford (b. 1953), American politician and businessman
  • Jason "Jay" Jamaal Alford (b. 1983), American football defensive tackle
  • William P. Alford (b. 1948), United States legal scholar
  • Rear Admiral William VanMeter Alford Jr., Chief of Staff for the United States Pacific Command (2004 to 2007)
  • Chalmers Edward "Spanky" Alford (1955-2008), American three time Grammy winning jazz guitarist
  • Stephen Todd Alford (b. 1964), retired American basketball player
  • William Robert "Red" Alford (1937-2003), American mathematician
  • Marianne Margaret Alford (1817-1888), Viscountess Alford, an English artist, art patron, and author
  • John Alford (b. 1941), English cricketer
  • John Alford (b. 1971), Scottish-born English actor



  • The Alford-Drake Family of Middle Tennessee by Naomi Hailey.
  • The Alford-Kennedy Family History by Eileen Alford.

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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)
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)

Other References

  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  2. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  3. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  4. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  5. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  6. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  7. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  8. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  9. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  10. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  11. ...

The Alford Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Alford 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 24 November 2015 at 19:51.

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