Show ContentsFulford History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Fulford comes from when the family resided in the area referred to as Fulford in Devon, Somerset, Staffordshire, and the East Riding of Yorkshire. These place names derive from the Old English terms "fu-l," meaning "dirty," or "muddy," and "ford," meaning "a ford," a shallow place where a river could be crossed. [1]

Early Origins of the Fulford family

The surname Fulford was first found in Devon where the earliest on record was William de Fulford, who held the manor of Great Fulford, in county Devon, near Exeter, during the reign of King Richard I (1189-1199.) [2]

"The Fulfords of Fulford, in the parish of Dunsford, are a very ancient and distinguished Devonshire knightly family, dating back to the 12th century." [3]

However, "there is every reason to believe that the ancestors of the venerable family have resided at Fulford from the time of the Conquest. Three knights of the house distinguished themselves in the wars of the Holy Land. " [2]

Indeed, the place name Fulford dates back to at least the Domesday Book where Fuleford spelling was listed in Yorkshire and Staffordshire at that time. The earliest listing for Somerset was found in 1327 as Fuleforde. [4]

"One of the estates held by these thanes is Filauefford ; so that there is good evidence in 1086 that the Saxon owners of Great Fulford had not been dispossessed ; while the parent stock of Fulfords were certainly there within a century. The other Foleford of ' Domesday,' held by Motbert under Baldwin the Sheriff, was a small manor, identifiable with Little Fulford in Shobrooke. Be all this as it may, among the most distinguished Crusaders of the West were Sir William, Sir Baldwin, and Sir Armas de Fulford. In the Wars of the Roses the Fulfords took the Lancastrian side ; and Sir Baldwin, who fought at Towton, was beheaded at Hexham, in 1461. But the family remained true, and his son, Sir Thomas, was attainted for espousing the cause of the Earl of Richmond, in 1483. He also took part in the relief of Exeter, when it was besieged by Perkin Warbeck, in 1497. The forfeiture only lasted a couple of years. In the Wars of the Commonwealth, as was to be expected, the Fulfords were staunch Royalists ; and Colonel, subsequently Sir Francis, Fulford made Fulford a royal garrison. His son Thomas was killed in the service ; and in December, 1645, the house was taken by Fairfax, and placed under the command of Colonel Okey. The mansion is, in the main, Elizabethan, and contains a royal recognition of the family loyalty in a portrait of Charles I. " [5]

Early History of the Fulford family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fulford research. Another 143 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1219, 1280, 1327, 1462, 1475, 1518, 1500, 1515, 1515, 1515, 1518, 1583, 1664 and 1625 are included under the topic Early Fulford History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fulford Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Fulford include Fulford, Fullford, Fulforde, Fullforde and others.

Early Notables of the Fulford family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include William Fulford, English Archdeacon of Barnstaple (1462 to 1475); John Fulford (died 1518), an English Archdeacon of Totnes (1500 to 1515), Archdeacon...
Another 28 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fulford Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fulford Ranking

In the United States, the name Fulford is the 6,651st most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [6]

United States Fulford migration to the United States +

A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Fulford Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Humphry Fulford, who landed in Maryland in 1640 [7]
Fulford Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Fulford, who settled in New England in 1751
Fulford Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Francis Fulford, (b. 1817), aged 15, Cornish settler departing from Plymouth aboard the ship "Andromeda" arriving in the United States on 10th May 1832 [8]
  • Thomas C Fulford, aged 25, who landed in Texas in 1871 [7]

Canada Fulford migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Fulford Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Thomas Fulford, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Dorcas Fulford, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • George Fulford, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • John Fulford, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Mr. Abel Fulford U.E. (b. 1774) born in New Ashford, Windham County, Massachusetts, USA who settled in Eastern District, Cornwall, Ontario c. 1784 he died in 1822 in Leeds & Grenville, Ontario, married twice having 9 children [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Fulford migration to Australia +

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

Fulford Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Fulford, English convict who was convicted in Surrey, England for 14 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Aurora" on 3rd November 1833, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died 1880 [10]
  • Miss Margaret Fulford, (Tulford), English Convict who was convicted in London, England for 7 years for larceny, transported aboard the "Atwick" on 28 September 1837, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [11]
  • G. Fulford, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Cheapside" in 1849 [12]

New Zealand Fulford 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:

Fulford Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John Fulford, aged 44, a brickmaker, who arrived in Hawkes Bay aboard the ship "Clarence" in 1875
  • Ann Fulford, aged 44, who arrived in Hawkes Bay aboard the ship "Clarence" in 1875
  • John Fulford, aged 25, a brickmaker, who arrived in Hawkes Bay aboard the ship "Clarence" in 1875
  • Fanny Fulford, aged 26, who arrived in Hawkes Bay aboard the ship "Clarence" in 1875
  • Fanny E. Fulford, aged 4, who arrived in Hawkes Bay aboard the ship "Clarence" in 1875
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Fulford migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [13]
Fulford Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Joe Fulford who settled in St. Christopher (Saint Kitts) in 1635
  • Jo Fulford, aged 18, who arrived in Barbados in 1635 [7]
  • Mr. John Fulford, (b. 1617), aged 18, British settler traveling aboard the ship "Matthew" arriving in St Christopher (Saint Kitts) in 1635 [14]

Contemporary Notables of the name Fulford (post 1700) +

  • Tommy Fulford (d. 1956), American jazz musician
  • Michael Gordon Fulford CBE, FBA, (b. 1948), English Professor of Archaeology at the University of Reading
  • Sir Roger Thomas Baldwin Fulford CVO (1902-1983), English journalist, historian, writer and politician
  • Francis Fulford (1803-1868), Canadian (English born), Anglican prelate, the first bishop of Montreal, Canada (1850-1868) [15]
  • Carlton W. Fulford Jr. (b. 1944), retired United States Marine Corps four-star general, former Deputy Commander in Chief, United States European Command (2000 to 2002)
  • Leonard Alfred Fulford (1928-2011), British commercial photographer and director
  • Henry English "H.E." Fulford (1859-1929), British diplomat, Consul General in Hankou (1911), acting Consul General in Shanghai (1913), and Consul General in Tianjin (1912-1917)
  • Christopher Fulford (b. 1955), British actor who often appears in British crime dramas
  • Robert Marshall Blount Fulford OC (b. 1932), Canadian author, journalist, broadcaster, and editor
  • George Taylor Fulford (1852-1905), Canadian businessman and politician, Ontario Member of Provincial Parliament for Leeds (1934-1937)
  • ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  1. Dixon, Bernard Homer, Surnames. London: John Wilson and son, 1857. Print
  2. Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  3. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  4. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  5. Worth, R.N., A History of Devonshire London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E.G., 1895. Digital
  6. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  7. 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)
  8. Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to New York 1820 - 1891 [PDF]. Retrieved from
  9. Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  10. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th August 2020). Retrieved from
  11. Convict Records of Australia. Retreived 23rd August 2020 from
  12. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The CHEAPSIDE 1849. Retrieved from
  14. Pilgrim Ship's of 1600's (Retrieved October 4th 2021 from
  15. Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 June 2020 on Facebook