Bickford History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Bickford has a long Anglo-Saxon heritage. The name comes from when a family lived in Bickford, which was the name of several places in England. The surname Bickford is derived from the Old English words becca, which refers to a type of ax, and ford, which refers to a shallow place in a river.

Early Origins of the Bickford family

The surname Bickford was first found in Devon at Bickford Town in Plympton St. Mary parish or from Beckford Farm in Membury. [1]

"The manor of Carburrow, [in the parish of Warleggon. Cornwall] and the barton of Trevedoc, have been for a considerable time in the family of their present proprietor Arscott Bickford, Esq. of Dunsland in Devonshire. The old mansion still remains; but it is no longer the abode of grandeur." [2]

Some sources note that the family could have originated in Beckford, Gloucestershire. This parish, in the union of Winchcomb, partly in the hundred of Tibaldstone dates back to Saxon times when it was known as Beccanford in 803. [3] By the time of the Domesday Book in 1086, the parish was known as Beceford. [4]

In the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273, there was a strong presence of the family in Gloucestershire where (Prior) de Bekeford; Adam de Beckeford; and Henry de Beckeford were listed at that time. Alex, de Bikeford was listed in Staffordshire in the same rolls. [5] Of the latter, the village of Bickford in Staffordshire survives today.

Early History of the Bickford family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bickford research. Another 60 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1050, 1774, 1834 and 1709 are included under the topic Early Bickford History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bickford Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Bickford have been found, including Bickford, Bickerford and others.

Early Notables of the Bickford family (pre 1700)

Another 41 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bickford Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bickford Ranking

In the United States, the name Bickford is the 3,618th most popular surname with an estimated 7,461 people with that name. [6] However, in Newfoundland, Canada, the name Bickford is ranked the 651st most popular surname with an estimated 68 people with that name. [7]


United States Bickford migration to the United States +

Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Bickford, or a variant listed above:

Bickford Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Stephen Bickford who settled in Warren, Maine, in the year of 1640
  • Sandi Bickford, who landed in Virginia in 1664 [8]
  • Stephen Bickford, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1679 [8]
Bickford Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • D C Bickford, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [8]
  • A Bickford, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [8]
  • Mr. Jonathan Bickford, (b. 1854), aged 45, Cornish miner, travelling aboard the ship "Majestic" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 16 August 1899 en route to New York, USA [9]
Bickford Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Sydney Bickford, who landed in Mobile, Ala, in 1905 [8]

Australia Bickford migration to Australia +

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

Bickford Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mary Ann Bickford, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Caroline" in 1839 [10]
  • G. Whiteway Bickford, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Isabella Watson" in 1846 [11]
  • Humphry Harding Bickford, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Gratitude" in 1848 [12]
  • Joseph Bickford, aged 20, who arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Reliance" [13]
  • Stephen Bickford, aged 25, who arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Reliance" [13]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Bickford migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [14]
Bickford Settlers in West Indies in the 18th Century
  • Nathaniel Bickford, who arrived in Antigua (Antego) in 1713 [8]

Contemporary Notables of the name Bickford (post 1700) +

  • Bruce Bickford (1947-2019), American animated film maker who worked in clay animation, known for his collaboration with Frank Zappa from 1974 to 1980
  • Bruce Emery Bickford (b. 1957), American gold medalist runner at the 1987 Pan American Games
  • Phillip Roger Bickford (b. 1995), American Major League Baseball pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays
  • James John Bickford (1912-1989), American bronze medalist Olympic bobsledder
  • Charles Bickford (1891-1967), American three-time Academy Award nominated actor, known for The Song of Bernadette (1943), The Farmer's Daughter (1947), and Johnny Belinda (1948)
  • John F. Bickford (1843-1927), American Medal of Honor recipient
  • Vernon Edgell Bickford (1920-1960), American Major League Baseball player
  • William Bickford (1841-1916), English entrepreneur who developed A.M. Bickford & Sons into a major drug company and successful soft-drink manufacturer
  • William Bickford (1815-1850), English-born immigrant to Australia from Devon who became the first pharmacist and pharmaceutical chemist in the colony of South Australia
  • William Bickford (1774-1834), English inventor of the safety fuse
  • ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


Suggested Readings for the name Bickford +

  • Three Hundred Years of Bickfords in New Hampshire by Catherine Bickford Fahnestock.

  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  3. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  4. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  5. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  6. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  7. ^ The order of Common Surnames in 1955 in Newfoundland retrieved on 20th October 2021 (retrieved from Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland by E.R. Seary corrected edition ISBN 0-7735-1782-0)
  8. ^ 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)
  9. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retreived 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_ellis_island_1892_on.pdf
  10. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) CAROLINE 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Caroline.htm
  11. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) ISABELLA WATSON 1846. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1846IsabellaWatson.htm
  12. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) GRATITUDE 1848. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1848Gratitude.gif
  13. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) RELIANCE 1851. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1851Reliance.htm
  14. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies


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