Ayleford History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Ayleford is a name whose history is connected to the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Ayleford family once lived beside or close to an old ford.
Early Origins of the Ayleford family
The surname Ayleford 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.
Early rolls confirmed the Lincolnshire origin as Alan de Alforde was recorded there and later, Robert de Auford was listed in the Feet of Fines for 1202. Thomas de Aldeford was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Worcestershire in 1275 and much later, Henry Alforde was recorded in Devon in 1642. 
Early History of the Ayleford family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ayleford 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 Ayleford History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Ayleford Spelling Variations
Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Ayleford family name include Allford, Alford, Aleford, Aldeford, Alforde, Allferd, Alferd, Allforth, Alforth, Alsford and many more.
Early Notables of the Ayleford 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...
Migration of the Ayleford family
For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Ayleford surname or a spelling variation of the name include: 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..