Elford History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient history of the Elford name begins with the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the family resided in a region called Elford in the county of Northumberland and in Staffordshire. The surname Elford 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 Elford family

The surname Elford 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." [1] 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. [2] While this latter village is older, the Northumberland village is where the first records of the name were found.

Early History of the Elford family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Elford research. Another 128 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1677, 1714, 1703, 1749, 1837 and 1733 are included under the topic Early Elford History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Elford Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Elford include Elford, Elfords, Elfford, Elffords and others.

Early Notables of the Elford 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 Elford Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Elford migration to the United States +

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Elford or a variant listed above:

Elford Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Elford, who arrived in Salem, Massachusetts in 1628
  • Richard Elford, who settled in Jamaica in 1657
  • John Elford, who landed in Maryland in 1674 [3]
  • James Elford, who arrived in America in 1685
Elford Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James M Elford, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1823 [3]

Canada Elford migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Elford Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • James Elford who settled in St. John's, Newfoundland, in 1757 [4]
  • Wills Terry Elford, who settled in Petty Harbour, Newfoundland in 1790 [4]

Australia Elford migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Elford Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Priscilla Elford, aged 19, a seamstress, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Punjab"

Contemporary Notables of the name Elford (post 1700) +

  • Sir William Elford (1749-1837), 1st Baronet, an English banker, politician, and amateur artist of Bickham, Buckland Monachorum, Devonshire [5]
  • Richard Elford (d. 1714), English vocalist who became famous in London as a singer of sacred music at the beginning of the seventeenth century
  • Victor Henry "Vic" Elford (b. 1935), English Formula One driver who participated in 13 World Championship F1 Grands Prix
  • Ernest Elford (b. 1867), English vicar, listed in the "Who's Who in Northumberland" for 1936
  • Bishop Keith Elford, Bishop of the Free Methodist Church in Canada
  • John Elford, Australian former rugby league footballer
  • Shane Elford (b. 1977), Australian rugby league player
  • Theophilus Elford (b. 1854), Canadian lumberman, listed in "Who's Who: Canada 1914"
  • Harold Elford Johns OC (1915-1998), Canadian medical physicist
  • William Elford Leach (1790-1836), English naturalist

The Elford 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.

  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. ^ 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)
  4. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  5. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 June 2020

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