Show ContentsBeaufort History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Beaufort surname is derived from a place name. As such it is categorized as a local surname, first used where the original bearer of the name lived, held land, or was born. In France, hereditary surnames were adopted according to fairly general rules and during the late Middle Ages, names that were derived from localities became increasingly widespread. The place name Beaufort is derived from the Old French words "beau," which means "beautiful," and "fort," which means "strong," but which also refers to a military fort.

Early Origins of the Beaufort family

The surname Beaufort was first found in Savoy (French: Savoie) in the Rhône-Alpes region of the French Alps, where the family has held a family seat since ancient times.

Actually "there are several other places in France from which it may be derived, such as Beaufort in Champagne, the fief of the De Broyes, Beaufort-en-Santerre, Beaufort-sur-Meuse (Froissart dedicated the first volume of his Chronicles to Robert de Namur, Sire de Beaufort-sur-Meuse), and the Comte of Beaufort, confiscated from Jacques d'Armagnac, Due de Nemours, by Louis XI. in 1470, In the seventeenth century Jean Gaspard de Beaufort-Canillac was Marquis de Montboissier." [1]

However, we must look to ancient England to find the first record of the family.

There are but few traces of it to be found in England. "Ralph Fitz Richard held Rochinges, Kent, from Hugh, Baron de Montfort, in 1086 [2] and appears to have been the son of Richard, Sire de Beaufort in Anjou, whose daughter married Hugh, Baron de Montfort (Des Bois, Diet. de la Noblesse), ancestor of the Montforts of Beaudesert." [3]

Obviously of Norman ancestry, John de Beaufort, 1st Earl of Somerset was born illegitimately between 1371 and 1373. He was the son of John of Gaunt. He was appointed Knight, Order of the Garter c. 1397. In February 1397 his illegitimate birth was legitimated by Parliament and Papal decree. He was the progenitor of the Beaufort family in England.

Early History of the Beaufort family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Beaufort research. Another 271 words (19 lines of text) covering the years 1403, 1404, 1405, 1413, 1422, 1426, 1431, 1462, 1470, 1471, 1597, and 1616 are included under the topic Early Beaufort History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Beaufort Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Beaufort, Beaufor, Beaufors, Beauford, Beaufore, Beauforte, Baufort, Baufor, Baufors, Bauford, Baufore, Bauforte, Bofort, Bofor, Bofors, Boford, Bofore, Boforte, Beufort, Beufor, Beufors, Beufore, Beuforte and many more.

Early Notables of the Beaufort family (pre 1700)

Notable in the family name at this time was John Beaufort (1373-1410), 1st Marquess of Somerset, 1st Marquess of Dorset, later only 1st Earl of Somerset, first of the four illegitimate children of John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, and his mistress Katherine Swynford, later his wife, Constable...
Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Beaufort Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Beaufort Ranking

In the United States, the name Beaufort is the 15,276th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [4] However, in France, the name Beaufort is ranked the 3,254th most popular surname with an estimated 2,000 - 2,500 people with that name. [5]

United States Beaufort migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Beaufort Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Rich. Beaufort, aged 18, who landed in Virginia in 1635 aboard the ship "Elizabeth"
Beaufort Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Ann Beaufort, who landed in Virginia in 1729 [6]
  • Caspar Beaufort, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1775 [6]
  • Casper Beaufort, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1775 [6]
  • Gaspar Beaufort who settled in Philadelphia in 1775
Beaufort Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Philip Beaufort, who settled in Philadelphia in 1834

Canada Beaufort migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Beaufort Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Joseph Beaufort married Marie-Joseph Dubois in Quebec in 1718
  • Pierre Beaufort married Marie-Joseph Lecuyer in Quebec in 1735

Contemporary Notables of the name Beaufort (post 1700) +

  • CW Beaufort, American State Senator, Jacksonville, Florida, U.S.A
  • Jacques-Antoine Beaufort (1721-1784), French painter
  • Rear Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort KCB, FRS, FRGS, FRAS, MRIA (1774-1857), Irish hydrographer and officer in the Royal Navy, creator of the Beaufort Scale for indicating wind force [7]
  • Daniel Augustus Beaufort (1739-1821), English geographer, born on 1 Oct. 1739 at East Barnet, son of Daniel Cornelis de Beaufort, a French refugee (1700-1788) [7]
  • Lieven Ferdinand de Beaufort (1879-1968), Dutch biologist, a participant on the North New Guinea Expedition in 1903
  • Carel Godin de Beaufort (1934-1964), Dutch Porsche Formula 1 Driver (1957-1964)
  • Sir Henry Beaufort Somerset CBE, KT Cr, FTSE (1906-1995), Industrial chemist and Company director
  • Alexander Beaufort Meek (1814-1865), American politician, lawyer, writer and poet
  • Alexander Beaufort Meek (1814-1865), American Democratic Party politician, Member of Alabama State House of Representatives, 1853, 1859; Speaker of the Alabama State House of Representatives, 1859 [8]

  1. Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. 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)
  4. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  6. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  7. Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 14 June. 2019
  8. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 4) . Retrieved from on Facebook