Bedford History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The origins of the Bedford name come from when the Anglo-Saxon tribes ruled over Britain. The name Bedford was originally derived from a family having lived in the county of Bedfordshire, where the name was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as in "Godwidere and Osgar de Bedeford were tenants in capite, 1086." [1]

Early Origins of the Bedford family

The surname Bedford was first found in Bedfordshire at Bedford, the county town and the administrative center for the wider Borough of Bedford. The place name dates back to the 9th century when it was listed as Bedanford in 880. By the Domesday Book of 1086, the place name had evolved to Bedeford and literally meant "ford of a man called Bieda," having derived from the Old English personal name + "ford." [2]

Bedfordshire (district of Bedford) is first referenced in the 11th century. Another reference claims the place name is derived the name of a Saxon chief called Beda + "ford." One of the first listings of the place name was a reference to the Anglo-Saxon King Offa of Mercia who was buried in the town in 796.

Bedford Castle was a large medieval castle in Bedford probably built after 1100 by Henry I. Today only the base of the motte survives.

Important Dates for the Bedford family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bedford research. Another 92 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1240, 1391, 1451, 1668, 1745, 1668, 1687, 1691, 1688, 1663, 1724, 1650, 1620 and 1650 are included under the topic Early Bedford History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bedford Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Bedford include Bedford, Bedforde, Bedforth and others.

Early Notables of the Bedford family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include John Bedford (fl.1391), English politician, Member of Parliament for Lewes; and John Bedford (died 1451) English politician, Member of Parliament for Kingston-upon-Hull. Arthur Bedford (1668-1745), was an English miscellaneous writer, born at Tiddenham in Gloucestershire 8 Sept. 1668. "At the age of sixteen he proceeded to Brasenose College, Oxford, graduated B.A. in February 1687-8, M.A. in July 1691, and was ordained in 1688. " [3] Hilkiah Bedford (1663-1724), was a...
Another 75 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bedford Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bedford migration to the United States

A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Bedford Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Ann Bedford, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Nathan Bedford, who settled in Maine in 1635
  • Nathaniell Bedford, who settled in Barbados in 1635
  • Jane Bedford, who settled in Virginia in 1638
  • Jane Bedford, who landed in Virginia in 1638 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Bedford Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Hanna Bedford, who landed in Virginia in 1704 [4]
  • Eliza Bedford, who arrived in Virginia in 1714 [4]
  • Jahn Bedford, who landed in Virginia in 1716 [4]
  • Ed Bedford, who arrived in Virginia in 1717 [4]
  • Edward Bedford, who landed in Virginia in 1719 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Bedford Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Hon. John Bedford, who was Judge of Vice Admiralty Court in Barbados in 1805
  • William T Bedford, aged 46, who landed in Maryland in 1812 [4]
  • Henry Bedford, who arrived in Indiana in 1854 [4]

Bedford migration to Canada

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Bedford Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Jonathan Bedford U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1783 [5]
  • Mr. Jonathan Bedford Sr., U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1783 [5]
Bedford Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Andrew Bedford, who landed in Canada in 1831
  • Mr. Thomas Bedford, aged 1 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Ajax" departing 16th April 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 23rd June 1847 but he died on board [6]
  • Mr. Thomas Bedford, aged 30 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Ajax" departing 16th April 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 23rd June 1847 but he died on board [6]
  • Mr. Thomas Bedford, aged 2 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Ajax" departing 16th April 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 23rd June 1847 but he died on board [6]

Bedford migration to Australia

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Bedford Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Bedford, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "The Stebonheath" in 1850 [7]
  • William Bedford, English Convict from Bury, who was transported aboard the "Aboukir" on December 24, 1851, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [8]
  • Elizabeth Bedford (aged 31), a laundry maid, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Gomelza"

Bedford migration to New Zealand

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Bedford Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • W. Bedford, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Andover" in 1843
  • Thomas Bedford, aged 31, a blacksmith, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oliver Lang" in 1856
  • Emily Bedford, aged 29, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oliver Lang" in 1856
  • Mr. George Bedford, (b. 1843), aged 15, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Mystery" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 29th March 1859 [9]
  • Mr. Bedford, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Sebastopol" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st May 1863 [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Bedford (post 1700)

  • James Hiram Bedford (1893-1967), American psychologist, University of California psychology professor, the first person whose body was cryopreserved after legal death; in the cryonics community, the anniversary of his cryopreservation is celebrated as "Bedford Day"
  • Brian Bedford (1935-2016), English-born American Tony Award winning actor, inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 1997, probably best remembered for his numerous Shakespearean roles
  • Gunning Bedford Jr. (1747-1812), American lawyer and politician, delegate to the U.S. Constitutional Convention of 1787
  • Homer Franklin Bedford (1880-1968), American Democrat politician, Postmaster; Weld County Assessor, 1922-32; Colorado State Treasurer, 1933-34, 1937-38, 1941-42, 1945-46, 1949-50, 1953-54, 1957-58, 1963-66
  • Gunning Bedford Jr. (1747-1812), American politician, U.S. District Judge for Delaware, 1789-1812
  • Gunning Bedford (1742-1797), American politician, Member of Delaware State House of Representatives, 1784; Delegate to Continental Congress from Delaware, 1786; Presidential Elector for Delaware, 1789; Governor of Delaware, 1796-97
  • Ethel Bedford, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1972
  • Charles E. Bedford, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Colorado, 1996
  • B. F. Bedford, American Democrat politician, Member of Kentucky State House of Representatives 71st District, 1934-39
  • Archibald B. Bedford, American politician, Dry Candidate for Delegate to New York convention to ratify 21st amendment, 1933
  • ... (Another 37 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Historic Events for the Bedford family

Halifax Explosion
  • Miss Muriel  Bedford (1903-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [11]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. William Barnet Bedford (d. 1912), aged 31, English Assistant Roast Cook from Itchen, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [12]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Purdy Renaker Bedford, American Fireman First Class from Kentucky, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [13]

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Citations

  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  6. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 65)
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The STEBONHEATH 1850. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1850Stebonheath.htm
  8. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 18) Aboukir voyage to Van Diemen's Land and Norfolk Island. [These convicts appear to have all landed in Van Diemen's Land], Australia in 1851 with 280 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/aboukir/1851
  9. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  10. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  11. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  12. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html
  13. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html
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