Cardiff History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Welsh family name Cardiff is derived from the name of the city of Cardiff, which is in the county of Glamorgan. As such, Cardiff belongs to the somewhat rare category of Welsh habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

Early Origins of the Cardiff family

The surname Cardiff was first found in Glamorganshire (Welsh: Sir Forgannwg), a region of South Wales, anciently part of the Welsh kingdom of Glywysing, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Early History of the Cardiff family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cardiff research. Another 86 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1172 and 1201 are included under the topic Early Cardiff History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cardiff Spelling Variations

Although there are comparatively few Welsh surnames, they have a great many spelling variations. Variations of Welsh names began almost immediately after their acceptance within Welsh society. In the Middle Ages, it was up to priests and the few other people that recorded names in official documents to decide how to spell the names that they heard. Variations that occurred because of improper recording increased dramatically as the names were later transliterated into English. The Brythonic Celtic language of Wales, known by natives as Cymraeg, featured many highly inflected sounds that could not be properly captured by the English language. Spelling variations were, however, also carried out according to an individual's design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations were all indicated by the particular variation of one's name. The spelling variations of the name Cardiff have included Cardiff, Cardiffe, Kerdiff, Kerdiffe and others.

Early Notables of the Cardiff family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Cardiff family to Ireland

Some of the Cardiff family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 34 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Cardiff migration to the United States +

Many people from Wales joined the general migration to North America in the 19th and 20th centuries, searching for land, work, and freedom. Like the many other immigrants from the British Isles, they made a significant contribution to the development of Canada and the United States. The Welsh and their descendents added a rich cultural tradition to the newly developed towns, cities, and villages. An investigation of the immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Cardiff:

Cardiff Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Patrick Cardiff who settled in Georgia in 1733
  • Thomas Cardiff, who settled in New England in 1773
Cardiff Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Philip Cardiff, who landed in America in 1810 [1]
  • Patrick Cardiff, who settled in Philadelphia in 1868

Contemporary Notables of the name Cardiff (post 1700) +

  • Gladys Cardiff (b. 1942), American poet and academic
  • Steve Cardiff (1957-2011), Canadian politician, MLA for Mount Lorne, Yukon (2002-2011)
  • Murray Cardiff (1934-2013), Canadian politician, Member of Parliament for Huron-Bruce (1980-1993)
  • Garry James Cardiff (b. 1944), retired Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman who played 200 games in the World Hockey Association
  • Janet Cardiff (b. 1957), Canadian artist
  • Jack Cardiff OBE, BSC (1914-2009), British cinematographer, director and photographer
  • Lewis Elston Cardiff (1889-1969), Canadian politician, Member of Parliament for Huron North (1940-1953)
  • Craig Cardiff (b. 1976), Canadian Juno Award and Canadian Folk Music Award nominated folk singer from Waterloo, Ontario


  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)


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