Beaufow History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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Early Origins of the Beaufow family
The surname Beaufow 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.
Hugh de Beauford held in 1165 one knight's fee in Bedfordshire of Simon de Beauchamp.  One of the name, probably his descendant is buried in Oseney Church. "Beaufort a Knight lyith in the Quire at the Hed of Countess Ela. This Beaufort and an Abbate of Oseney buildid the Body of the Chirche now standing at Oseney, and ther be porturid their Images in the Volt of it." 
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 Beaufow family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Beaufow 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 Beaufow History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Beaufow Spelling Variations
A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Beaufoy, Beauford, Beauford, Beaufort, Beauforest, Beauforth, Bewfort, Bewford, Bufoy, Ballafay, Belfou, Beaufow and many more.
Early Notables of the Beaufow 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 Beaufow Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Beaufow family
Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Beaufow or a variant listed above: 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)
- ^ Liber Niger Scutarii ("Black Book of the Exchequer"), containing reports by county on feudal holdings in England in 1166 (reign of Henry II)
- ^ 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
- ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print