Brafford History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Brafford belongs to the early history of Britain, it's origins lie with the Anglo-Saxons. It is a product of their having lived in or near one of the many places called Bradford in England, which were found in Wiltshire, Dorset, Somerset, Devon, Northumberland, and the West Riding of Yorkshire. The surname Brafford literally means broad ford.
One source claims that the family came from "a town on the Avon, in Wiltshire, England, whence the surname is derived, and which signifies the broad ford, there being at that place a ford across the Avon." 
Early Origins of the Brafford family
The surname Brafford was first found in the West Riding of Yorkshire at Bradford, a borough, market-town, and parish, and the head of a union, in the wapentake of Morley. "This place during the heptarchy formed part of the extensive parish of Dewsbury, from which it appears to have been separated soon after the Conquest. The manor of Bradford, which in the Domesday Survey is described as a barren waste, was given to Ilbert de Lacy, who attended the Conqueror from Normandy, and fought under his standard at the battle of Hastings. Ilbert had 150 other manors in the county, which he formed into a seigniory, called the Honour of Pontefract." 
While it is generally thought the family hailed from Yorkshire, we must look to Northumberland for the first recording of the family. For it is there that Hodgson's History of Northumberland lists Alexander de Bradeford in 1197.
Later the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 eluded to the wide popularity of the name throughout ancient Britain: Hugh de Bradeford, Devon; John de Bradeford, Wiltshire; and Alex, de Bradeford, Northumberland. 
Ironically, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 had only one listing of the family there at that time: Johannes de Bradeford. 
Early History of the Brafford family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Brafford research. Another 103 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1206, 1510, 1555, 1510, 1590, 1657, 1624, 1703, 1663, 1752, 1658, 1660, 1739, 1652, 1731 and 1652 are included under the topic Early Brafford History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Brafford 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 Brafford include Bradford, Bradeford, Braidford, Bradforde and others.
Early Notables of the Brafford family (pre 1700)
Notables of the family at this time include John Bradford (1510?-1555), English Protestant martyr, born of gentle parents about 1510 in the parish of Manchester. "A local tradition claims him as a native of the chapelry of Blackley. On his way to the stake, he proclaimed ' England, England, repent thee of thy sins, repent thee of thy sins. Beware of idolatry, beware of false antichrists; take heed they do not deceive you.' " 
William Bradford (c.1590-c.1657), was an English Separatist leader in Leiden, Holland and in Plymouth Colony. He was a signatory to the Mayflower Compact; and his son, Major William...
Another 126 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Brafford Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Brafford family to Ireland
Some of the Brafford family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Brafford 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 Brafford were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: William Bradford of Yorkshire who arrived at Plymouth in 1621, aboard the Mayflower and, on the death of John Carver in 1621, was chosen leader of the Pilgrims, 2nd Governor of the Plymouth colony. His wife Dorothy died at sea, en-route to the Colony. Other settlers include: Henery Bradford, who came to Virginia in 1625.
Contemporary Notables of the name Brafford (post 1700) +
- Todd Brafford (b. 1960), birth name of Todd Bradford, an American retired professional wrestler, better known by his ring name, Todd Champion
Related Stories +
The Brafford 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: Fier et sage
Motto Translation: Proud and Wise.
- ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print