The Norman Conquest
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
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
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
Henry de Bereford was listed in the Pipe Rolls
in 1204 and in Yorkshire
, William de Bereford was listed there in 1325 and later John Berford was listed there in 1419. CITATION[CLOSE]
Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
Doora Barefield, or Doora and Kilraghtis, is a parish in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Killaloe, in County Clare, Ireland.
Early History of the Bearfoot family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bearfoot research.Another 259 words (18 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)
Another 24 words (2 lines of text) are 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 Ireland
Some of the Bearfoot family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 115 words (8 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 Bearfoot family to the New World and Oceana
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.