Bearfoot History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought many new words to England from which surnames were formed. Bearfoot was one of these new Norman names. It was specifically tailored to its first bearer, who was a person who was in the habit of going without shoes. Friars, pilgrims, and people doing penance often went shoeless. The Barford(e) variation was likely derived from one of the many places in England so named in Hampshire, Norfolk, Warwickshire and Bedfordshire.

Early Origins of the Bearfoot family

The surname Bearfoot was first found in various counties and shires throughout Britain. Some of the first records of the name appears in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 and they include: Norman Barfot in Lincolnshire; Robert Barefot in Oxfordshire; and Alan Barefot in Cambridgeshire. [1]

Henry de Bereford was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Gloucestershire in 1204 and in Yorkshire, William de Bereford was listed there in 1325 and later John Berford was listed there in 1419. [2]

Doora Barefield, or Doora and Kilraghtis, is a parish in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Killaloe, in County Clare, Ireland.

Important Dates for the Bearfoot family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bearfoot research. Another 129 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1180, 1400, 1655, 1688, 1685 and 1686 are included under the topic Early Bearfoot History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bearfoot Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Barefoot, Barfoot, Barfitt, Barfit, Barford, Barefield, Barefred, Barefoote and many more.

Early Notables of the Bearfoot family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Bearfoot family

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Bearfoot or a variant listed above: James Barefoot who settled in Maryland in 1634; Thomas in Virginia in 1635; followed by another Thomas in Virginia in 1650; John in Virginia in 1634; Elizabeth settled in Maryland in 1743.

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Citations

  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
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