The ancient history of the Elforthay 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 Elforthay 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 Elforthay family
The surname Elforthay 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 Elforthay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Elforthay research.Another 255 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1677, 1714, 1703, 1749, 1837 and 1733 are included under the topic Early Elforthay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Elforthay 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 Elforthay include Elford, Elfords, Elfford, Elffords and others.
Early Notables of the Elforthay 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 Elforthay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Elforthay family to the New World and Oceana
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 Elforthay or a variant listed above: 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 Elforthay 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.