Bideford History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The name Bideford belongs to the early history of Britain, it's origins lie with the Anglo-Saxons. It is a product of their 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." 
Early Origins of the Bideford family
The surname Bideford 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." 
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 Bideford family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bideford 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 Bideford History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bideford Spelling Variations
Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Bideford include Bedford, Bedforde, Bedforth and others.
Early Notables of the Bideford 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. " 
Hilkiah Bedford (1663-1724), was a...
Another 75 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bideford Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Bideford family
Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Bideford were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: 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.
- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print