Amfravile History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Amfravile is one of the thousands of new names that the Norman Conquest brought to England in 1066. The Amfravile family lived in "Amfreville, in the viscounty of Evereux, which was held by the service of two knights. This family came to England at the Conquest." 
Early Origins of the Amfravile family
The surname Amfravile was first found in Northumberland where they held a family seat from 1066, when William, Duke of Normandy, granted the forest, valley, and Lordship of Riddesdale, to Sir Robert Umfreville (nicknamed Robert with the Beard,) Lord of Tours and Vian in Normandy.
The family took control of Prudhoe Castle on the south bank of the River Tyne at Prudhoe, Northumberland. "In the reign of King John, we find Richard de Umfraville making 'his whole court at Whelpington' witness to a grant to the monks of Kelso; and the place for some time subsequently continued in this family, of whom Gilbert, in 1267, obtained from Henry III. liberty to hold a weekly market and annual fair here, which privileges, however, remained in force only for a very short period." 
The parish of Monkridge-Ward also held special significance the family. "About the year 1242, Munkeriche was held of Gilbert de Umfraville by Maria de Munkeriche and Roger Dun, by drengage service; in 1398, Maud, widow of Gilbert de Umfraville, died seised of the place." 
"The Umfravilles, a Norman house whose name is derived from Amfreville, between Brionne and Louviers in Normandy, had possessed since the Conquest the liberty of Redesdale in Northumberland, and since Henry I's time the castle of Prudhoe, south of the Tyne, in the same county." 
And a branch of the family was found at Barrasford, again in Northumberland. "At this place, which, with the exception of a small freehold, is the property of the Duke of Northumberland, Robert de Umfraville in 1303 obtained license from Edward I. to hold a market on Wednesdays, and a fair on November 11th, both of which have been discontinued." 
"No Border barons were more constantly in the saddle, or more eager at the call of the slogan; none so busied in the unceasing turmoil of the Marcher feuds, or so fierce and dauntless in their life-long warfare against the Scots. They had full jurisdiction within their spacious domain, and needed to be powerful as well as brave, for they had to hold the castles of Harbottle and Otterburn in addition to their great stronghold of Prudhoe, so gallantly defended against William the Lion in 1170. After many fruitless assaults, the Scottish King had to raise the siege and retreat homewards, and was taken prisoner on his march to Alnwick by Odonel de Umfreville and Bernard Baliol." 
Early History of the Amfravile family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Amfravile research. Another 118 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1743, 1245, 1246, 1308, 1277 and 1325 are included under the topic Early Amfravile History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Amfravile Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Amfravile are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Amfravile include Umfreville, Umphreville, Umfrevill, Umphrevill and many more.
Early Notables of the Amfravile family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Gilbert de Umfraville (d.1245), a 13th-century nobleman; and his son, Gilbert de Umfraville, Earl of Angus (r. 1246-1308), the first of...
Another 28 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Amfravile Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Amfravile family
Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Amfravile, or a variant listed above: Robert Umfravill who landed in America in 1760.
- The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
- Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3