Of all the Anglo-Saxon
names to come from Britain, Elfithy is one of the most ancient. The name is a result of the original family having lived in a region called Elford in the county of Northumberland
and in Staffordshire
. The surname Elfithy is a topographic
surname, which was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree. Habitation
names form the other broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Other local
names are derived from the names of houses, manors, estates, regions, and entire counties. As a general rule, the greater the distance between an individual and their homeland, the larger the territory they were named after.
Early Origins of the Elfithy family
The surname Elfithy was first found in Northumberland
at Elford, which dates back to at least 1256 when it was listed as Eleford and had two possible origins: having derived from the Old English personal name
Ella or Ellen + ford as in "ford of a man called Ella"; and "ford where elder-trees grow." CITATION[CLOSE]
Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
Elford is also a village and civil parish in Lichfield District of Staffordshire
that dates back to 1002 when it was listed as Elleford and later was listed in the Domesday Book
of 1086 as Eleford. CITATION[CLOSE]
Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
While this latter village is older, the Northumberland
village is where the first records of the name were found.
Early History of the Elfithy family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Elfithy research.Another 255 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1677, 1714, 1703, 1749, 1837 and 1733 are included under the topic Early Elfithy History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Elfithy Spelling Variations
The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred
years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations
in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Elfithy has been spelled many different ways, including Elford, Elfords, Elfford, Elffords and others.
Early Notables of the Elfithy family (pre 1700)
Distinguished members of the family include Richard Elford (1677?-1714) English singer, lay vicar at St Paul's Cathedral and Westminster Abbey, he sang before Queen Anne at St... Another 26 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Elfithy Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Elfithy family to the New World and Oceana
Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Elfithys to arrive in North America: John Elford, who arrived in Salem, Massachusetts in 1628; Richard Elford, who came to Jamaica in 1657; James Elford, who arrived in America in 1685; another James Elford who settled in St. John's, Newfoundland, in 1757.
The Elfithy 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: Difficilia quae pulchra
Motto Translation: Beautiful things are difficult.