Axford History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Axford is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Axford family lived at Axford, in the county of Wiltshire. Checking further we found the name was derived from the Old English words aesc and ford, meaning ash tree and ford.

Early Origins of the Axford family

The surname Axford was first found in Wiltshire at Axford, a hamlet in the Kennet Valley which dates back to 1184 when it was listed as Axeford. The place name literally means "ford by the ash-trees," having derived from the Old English words "aesc" + "ford." [1] The family held a family seat at Ramsbury from ancient times. Today, Ramsbury is a village and civil parish that includes the hamlet Axford. It was originally spelt Ramesberrie. Ramsbury at the time of the Domesday Book was one of the larger holdings in the county of Wiltshire and consisted of 10 Mills. It was held by the Bishop of Salisbury. It also included Axford's Farm, from which the Axford family name is conjecturally descended. Axford's Farm is noted for its water mill. Axford is also a village in Hampshire, part of the civil parish of Nutley.

Early History of the Axford family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Axford research. Another 42 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 121 and 1216 are included under the topic Early Axford History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Axford Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Axford, Acksford, Ackford, Hackford, Hacksford, Hawksford, Hawkford, Hawkesford and many more.

Early Notables of the Axford family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Axford Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Axford migration to the United States +

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, travelling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Axford or a variant listed above:

Axford Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Richard Axford, who landed in Maryland in 1660
  • Ephraim Axford, who settled in Virginia in 1670

Australia Axford migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Axford Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss Mary Ann Axford, English Convict who was convicted in Bath, Somerset, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Atwick" on 28 September 1837, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [2]
  • William Axford, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Cressy" in 1847 [3]
  • Robert Axford, aged 19, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Surge" [4]
  • William James Axford, aged 24, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Surge" [4]
  • Mr. John Axford, (b. 1834), aged 21, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "Truro" arriving in Queensland, Australia on 1st June 1855 [5]

New Zealand Axford migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Axford Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Elizabeth Axford, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Jura" in 1861
  • Ann Axford, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Jura" in 1861
  • James Axford, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Jura" in 1861

Contemporary Notables of the name Axford (post 1700) +

  • Samuel M. Axford, American politician, 11th Mayor of the City of Flint, Michigan (1868-1869)
  • William Axford, American politician, Member of Michigan State House of Representatives from Oakland County, 1850; Delegate to Michigan State Constitutional Convention, 1850 [6]
  • W. Homer Axford, American politician, Mayor of Bayonne, New Jersey, 1919-23 [6]
  • Samuel Axford Jr. (1809-1882), American Democratic Party politician, Member of Michigan State House of Representatives from Oakland County, 1842; Member of Michigan State Senate 6th District, 1851-52 [6]
  • Samuel Axford, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Michigan State Constitutional Convention 6th District, 1835; Member of Michigan State House of Representatives from Macomb County, 1839-40, 1843 [6]
  • John Nelson Axford (b. 1880), American Democratic Party politician, Clothing merchant; Mayor of Owosso, Michigan, 1936-38 [6]
  • John Axford, American politician, Delegate to Michigan State Constitutional Convention 6th District, 1835 [6]
  • Craig Axford, American politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Utah 1st District, 2002 [6]
  • Sir William Ian Axford FRS FRSNZ (1933-2010), New Zealand space scientist, Director of the Max Planck Institute for Aeronomy, Germany (1974 to 1990)
  • Sergeant Thomas Leslie "Jack" Axford VC, MM (1894-1983), Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retreived 23rd August 2020, retreived from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/atwick)
  3. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) CRESSY 1847. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1847Cressy.htm
  4. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 3 February 1852. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SURGE 1852. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/surge1852.shtml
  5. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retreived 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_queensland.pdf
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 6) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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