Byfarte History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The present generation of the Byfarte family is only the most recent to bear a name that dates back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name comes from having lived near a ford, a shallow place in a river or stream which could be crossed by wading. The surname Byfarte is derived from the Old English words bi, which means by, and ford, which means ford, collectively "ford near the river-bend."[1]. The surname Byfarte may also be derived from residence in the settlement of Byford in Hertfordshire. [2]

Early Origins of the Byfarte family

The surname Byfarte was first found in Herefordshire at Byford, a parish, in the union of Weobley, hundred of Grimsworth. [3]

The name is derived from Beeford or Beeforth (Buiforde in the Domesday Book) [4] in Holderness in the East Riding of Yorkshire, on the east coast of England. Baldwin de Biford, between 1182 and 1189, "gave as much land on each side of their grange on the moor as was equal to the previous grant of Acer de Biford to Beverley Abbey; Nicholas, his son, gave an oxgang and a toft in Beeford; and Stephen, son of Thomas de Biford, the same." [5]

Following this early entry, we must look to Essex for the next registered entry for the family. For it is there that Geoffrey de Biford was listed in the Feet of Fines for 1222-1223. Later, again in Essex, John Byfordim was listed in the Feet of Fines for 1381. [2]

Early History of the Byfarte family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Byfarte research. Another 75 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Byfarte History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Byfarte 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 Byfarte include Biford, Biforde, Byford, Byforde, Bifford, Byfford, Biffard, Biffort, Byfford and many more.

Early Notables of the Byfarte family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Byfarte Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Byfarte 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 Byfarte were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: William Byford who arrived in Philadelphia in 1880; Thomas, William, and Martha Byford, arrived in Barbados in 1664; and later transferred to the mainland in Virginia.



  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  5. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3


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