In ancient Anglo-Saxon England
, the ancestors of the Biddeford surname 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." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
Early Origins of the Biddeford family
The surname Biddeford 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." CITATION[CLOSE]
Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4) 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.
Early History of the Biddeford family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Biddeford research.Another 183 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1240, 1391 and 1451 are included under the topic Early Biddeford History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Biddeford Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred
years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon
surnames like Biddeford are characterized by many spelling variations
. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Biddeford include: Bedford, Bedforde, Bedforth and others.
Early Notables of the Biddeford family (pre 1700)
Another 28 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Biddeford Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Biddeford family to the New World and Oceana
Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Biddeford or a variant listed above: Hon. John Bedford, who was Judge of Vice Admiralty Court in Barbados in 1805; Ann Bedford settled in Virginia in 1635; followed by Jane in 1638; Margaret Bedford settled in Nevis in 1660.
The Biddeford Motto
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Animum fortuna sequatur
Motto Translation: Fortune follows courage.