Gainforthay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The Anglo-Saxon name Gainforthay comes from the family having resided in the region of Gaye which was located in France. The surname Gainforthay was also a nickname which described someone with a happy or light spirited character.
Early Origins of the Gainforthay family
The surname Gainforthay was first found in Durham at Gainford, a parish, in the unions of Teesdale, Darlington, and Auckland. "This place was anciently a seigniory detached from the palatinate jurisdiction of the county, and invested with several valuable privileges and immunities. It appears to have been indebted for its origin to Egfrid, Bishop of Lindisfarne, who founded a church, which in 830 he gave to the see, together with the lands annexed to it, and which continued to form part of the episcopal possessions till the commencement of the 11th century." 
Important Dates for the Gainforthay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gainforthay research. Another 115 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gainforthay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Gainforthay Spelling Variations
Gainforthay has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Spelling variants included: Gainsford, Gaynesford, Gainford, Gaynsford, Ganesford and many more.
Early Notables of the Gainforthay family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Gainforthay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Gainforthay family
In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Gainforthays to arrive on North American shores: Mathias Gainsford who settled in Maryland in 1774 and Arthur Gainsford, who settled in Pennsylvania in 1876.
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.