Fordsham History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Fordsham is a name that came to England in the 11th century wave of migration that was set off by the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Fordsham family lived in Essex, in the town of Fordham. Ancient records reveal the name Fordsham is derived from the Old English ford, which means ford, and ham, which means homestead. Towns bearing this name also exist in Norfolk and Cambridgeshire. Fordham Essex is arguably the most important of these towns, but all were held by Norman nobles in the 11th century.
Early Origins of the Fordsham family
The surname Fordsham was first found in Essex where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Fordham. In the Domesday Book,  a survey of England undertaken for Duke William of Normandy in 1086 A.D. after his conquest of England at Hastings in 1066, there were three villages or manors named Fordham, one in Cambridgeshire, one in Norfolk and one in Essex, all were held by Norman nobles.
The one which was most influential and gave rise to the name Fordham was that of Fordham in Essex which was held by William de Warrene and others. In the survey of 1086 the village consisted of a Mill, 6 Beehives, and 25 goats. It was the Norman custom that the senior son should continue the main line name, but that the second son should adopt the name of the manor.
"A small Gilbertine priory was founded in the reign of Henry III., by Sir Robert de Fordham, [in Fordham, Cambridgeshire] as a cell to the great monastery of the same order at Sempringham, in Lincolnshire; but scarcely a vestige remains." 
John Fordun (d. 1384?), was the writer upon whom Walter Bower based the earlier part of his great work, the 'Scotichronicon.' Fordun wrote fifteen of the first twenty-three chapters of book. 
Early History of the Fordsham family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fordsham research. Another 78 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 138 and 1388 are included under the topic Early Fordsham History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Fordsham Spelling Variations
Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Fordsham have been found, including Fordham, Fordeham, Fordsham, Fordesham, Fordam and others.
Early Notables of the Fordsham family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Fordsham Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Fordsham migration to New Zealand +
Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:
Fordsham Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- Mary Fordsham, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Andrew Jackson" in 1865
- Elizabeth Fordsham, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Andrew Jackson" in 1865
- Mary Ann Fordsham, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Andrew Jackson" in 1865
Related Stories +
- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print