Ballafay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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Early Origins of the Ballafay family
The surname Ballafay was first found in Norfolk and Suffolk. The name literally means "fair faith" and claims descent from "a locality now called Beau-Fai, in the arrondissement of Mortagne, in Normandy. Ralph de Bella Faago, or Beaufoy, accompanied the Conqueror, and became a tenant in chief in Norfolk and Suffolk. He was a near relative of William be Beaufoe, the Conqueror's chancellor and chaplain." 
Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of Swanton Moreley, where Robert de Belfou was Lord of that manor and held many other lordships in that county.
More records of the family were found in St. Ives, Cornwall and these records point to another early branch of the family. "The manor and barton of Trenwith, was held by the Earl of Cornwall shortly after the Conquest. In the days of John of Gaunt it became the property of his son John de Beauford; and in this family it remained till the attainder of Edmund Beauford, Earl of Somerset, in 1471." 
John Beaufort, 1st Marquess of Somerset and 1st Marquess of Dorset, KG (c. 1373-1410) was the first of the four children of John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, and his mistress Katherine Swynford. He was the progenitor of what would later be known as the House of Beaufort, a line of wealthy and powerful English nobles.
Early History of the Ballafay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ballafay research. Another 66 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1377, 1447, 1403, 1444, 1406, 1455, 1431 and 1501 are included under the topic Early Ballafay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Ballafay Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Beaufoy, Beauford, Beauford, Beaufort, Beauforest, Beauforth, Bewfort, Bewford, Bufoy, Ballafay, Belfou, Beaufow and many more.
Early Notables of the Ballafay family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Henry Beaufort (1377-1447), English prelate, Bishop of Winchester and Cardinal, second and illegitimate son of John of Gaunt by Catherine; John Beaufort (1403-1444), first Duke of Somerset, military commander, the son of John Beaufort, eldest son of John of Gaunt; Edmund Beaufort, (1406-1455), 2nd Duke of Somerset, an English nobleman and an important figure in the Wars of the...
Another 66 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ballafay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Ballafay family
Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Ballafay name or one of its variants: the name represented in many forms and recorded from the mid 17th century in the great migration from Europe. Migrants settled in the eastern seaboard from Newfoundland, to Maine, to Virginia, the Carolinas, and to the islands..
Related Stories +
- ^ 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)
- ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print