The Balfray name was originally an Anglo-Saxon
name that was given to a person who worked as the palfreyman,
who was in charge of the palfreys. This occupational
surname was first derived from the Old French word parfrement
which referred to the individual who saddled horses for women. The term palfrey
usually referred to the most expensive and highly-bred types of riding horse during the Middle Ages.
Early Origins of the Balfray family
The surname Balfray was first found in Hampshire
where they held a family seat
from early times and their first records appeared on the census rolls taken by the ancient Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.
Early History of the Balfray family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Balfray research.Another 303 words (22 lines of text) covering the years 1148, 1200, 1321, 1359, 1411, 1589, 1637 and 1638 are included under the topic Early Balfray History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Balfray Spelling Variations
Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Balfray has undergone many spelling variations
, including Palfrey, Palfry, Palfreyer, Palfreyman and others.
Early Notables of the Balfray family (pre 1700)
Another 32 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Balfray Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Balfray family to Ireland
Some of the Balfray family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 31 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Balfray family to the New World and Oceana
To escape the unstable social climate in England
of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Balfray were among those contributors: Peter Palfrey, who was on record in Massachusetts in 1624; John Palfrey, who arrived in Cambridge, MA in 1658; Jonathan Palfrey, a bonded passenger, who arrived in Barbados in 1698.