Show ContentsBritefithy History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Britefithy is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin and comes from the family once 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 Britefithy 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." [1]

Early Origins of the Britefithy family

The surname Britefithy 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." [2]

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. [3]

Ironically, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 had only one listing of the family there at that time: Johannes de Bradeford. [3]

Early History of the Britefithy family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Britefithy 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 Britefithy History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Britefithy Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Britefithy family name include Bradford, Bradeford, Braidford, Bradforde and others.

Early Notables of the Britefithy 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.' " [4] 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 Britefithy Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Britefithy family to Ireland

Some of the Britefithy 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 Britefithy family

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Britefithy surname or a spelling variation of the name include: 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.



The Britefithy 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.


  1. Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  2. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print


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