Allifax History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestry of the name Allifax dates from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It comes from when the family lived in Halifax, a place in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The place-name was spelled Halyfax in 1095 and is probably derived from the Old English words halh, which meant "remote corner of land," and gefeaxe, which meant coarse grass. Collectively the place-name means "remote nook where the coarse grass grows." [1]

Early Origins of the Allifax family

The surname Allifax was first found in the West Riding of Yorkshire where they claim descent from the distinguished Waterhouse family through a younger branch who adopted, about the 12th century, the name de Halifax, from the town they lived in. Early Yorkshire rolls listed: Jordan de Halifax in 1297; Judde de Halifax in 1309; and William de Halifax in 1382. [2]

The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls included: Johannes Halyfax, laborer; and Margreta Halyfax. laborer. [3]

One source claims that the name is derived from "Holy Locks [Old English hálig, holy + f(e)ax, hair of the head]" and includes this interesting passage: "According to the old local legend the name has reference to the tresses of a maiden who was murdered by a priest. And travelling along by Heading-Halifax, Which Horton once was call'd, but of a Virgin's hair, (A martyr that was made, for chastity, that there Was by her lover slain) being fast'ned to a tree: The people that would needs it should a relique be, It Halifax since nam'd, which, in the Northern tongue, Is Holy Hair." [4]

Early History of the Allifax family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Allifax research. Another 94 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1655, 1722, 1655, 1670, 1674, 1682, 1675, 1678, 1687, 1685, 1722, 1721 and 1722 are included under the topic Early Allifax History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Allifax Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Allifax have been found, including Hallifax, Halifax, Hallyfax, Halyfax and others.

Early Notables of the Allifax family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include William Hallifax (1655?-1722), English divine, born at Springthorpe, Lincolnshire, about 1655, was the son of the Rev. John Hallifax. "On 20 Feb. 1670 he entered Brasenose College, Oxford, as a servitor, but was admitted a scholar of Corpus Christi College in April 1674, and a fellow in December 1682. He graduated...
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Allifax Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Allifax family

Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Allifax, or a variant listed above: Lidia and Simon Halifax who settled in Barbados in 1675.



  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print


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