Show ContentsDanforth History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Danforth surname is thought to have been a habitational name taken on from a place name; possibly from Darnford in Suffolk, Great Durnford in Wiltshire, or from Dernford Farm in Sawston, Cambridgeshire. These place names are derived from the Old English words "dierne," meaning "hidden" and "ford," or in other words "a ford across a river." [1]

Of all these parishes Durnford, Wiltshire is the largest and dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 when it was recorded as Diarneford. [2] Denford, Northamptonshire was listed in the the Domesday Book as Deneforde. [2]

Early Origins of the Danforth family

The surname Danforth was first found in Northamptonshire at Denford, a parish, in the union of Thrapston, hundred of Huxloe. [3] Upper Denford is a hamlet in Berkshire, England, and part of the civil parish of Kintbury and this may the source of the family too. [4]

Early rolls revealed early spellings used at that time: Nicholas de Darneford in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1279; Robert de Derneforde in the Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk in 1327; and James Danford in Subsidy Rolls for Suffolk in 1568. [5]

Early History of the Danforth family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Danforth research. Another 115 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1279, 1327, 1568, 1570, 1639, 1455, 1487, 1626, 1674, 1634, 1622, 1699, 1634, 1692, 1634, 1643, 1657, 1658, 1659, 1679, 1686, 1681, 1686, 1650 and 1658 are included under the topic Early Danforth History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Danforth Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Danforth, Danford, Danforde, Danforthe, Damforth and many more.

Early Notables of the Danforth family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Samuel Danforth (1626-1674), an American Puritan minister, poet, and astronomer born in Framlingham, Suffolk, arriving in Massachusetts in 1634; and Thomas Danforth (1622-1699), born in Framlingham, Suffolk, he emigrated to New England in 1634 with his family and later became a judge for the 1692 Salem witch trials. He was son of Nicholas Danforth of Framlingham and was "taken by his father to America in 1634, and became an inhabitant of Cambridge, Massachusetts. He was admitted a freeman of that town in 1643...
Another 89 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Danforth Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Danforth Ranking

In the United States, the name Danforth is the 4,907th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [6]

United States Danforth migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Danforth Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Nicholas Danforth, who settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1634
  • Jonathan Danforth, who settled in New England in 1653
Danforth Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Allen Danforth, who immigrated to the United States, in 1903
  • Donald Danforth, aged 4, who landed in America, in 1906
  • Cora Danforth, aged 20, who immigrated to the United States, in 1907
  • Agnes H. Danforth, aged 25, who settled in America, in 1910
  • Adelbert Danforth, aged 7, who immigrated to the United States, in 1912
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Danforth (post 1700) +

  • William "Bill" Henry Danforth II (1926-2020), American physician, professor of medicine, and academic, Chancellor of Washington University in St. Louis from 1971 until 1995
  • Douglas Danforth (1923-2015), American baseball executive for the Pittsburgh Pirates
  • William Henry Danforth II (b. 1926), American retired physician, professor of medicine, and academic administrator, Chancellor Emeritus of Washington University
  • Emily M. Danforth (b. 1980), American author, Assistant Professor of English at Rhode Island College
  • Asa Danforth Jr. (1768-1821), American land speculator in New York, he invested in the especially risky land titles in Upper Canada and later was became a highway engineer, eponym of Danforth Road, Danforth Village and Danforth Avenue in Toronto, son of Asa Danforth
  • Asa Danforth (1746-1818), American settler and leading citizen of Onondaga County, New York, veteran of the American Revolution and a salt maker in Onondaga Hollow
  • Brigadier-General Edward Courtney Bullock Danforth (1894-1974), American Commandant 4th Service Command Rehabilitation Center (1942-1944) [7]
  • William H. Danforth (1870-1955), American founder of the Ralston Purina Company in 1894
  • George F. Danforth (1819-1899), American jurist, New York judge
  • Elliott Danforth (1850-1906), American politician, New York State Treasurer 1890-1893
  • ... (Another 3 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  1. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  5. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  6. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  7. Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2012, January 10) Edward Danforth. Retrieved from on Facebook