Gayforthay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Gayforthay surname lived among the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. The name comes from when they lived in the region of Gaye which was located in France. The surname Gayforthay was also a nickname which described someone with a happy or light spirited character.

Early Origins of the Gayforthay family

The surname Gayforthay 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." [1]

Early History of the Gayforthay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gayforthay research. Another 115 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1624, 1599, 1601 and 1610 are included under the topic Early Gayforthay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gayforthay 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 Gayforthay include Gainsford, Gaynesford, Gainford, Gaynsford, Ganesford and many more.

Early Notables of the Gayforthay family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Thomas Gainsford (d. 1624?), English author who belonged to the Surrey family of Gainsford. "He with Edward Stene apparently purchased of the crown Alne manor, Warwickshire, and a cottage in Stutton, Yorkshire, 27 Nov. 1599. He is known to have served in Ireland under Richard...
Another 51 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gayforthay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Gayforthay family

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: Mathias Gainsford who settled in Maryland in 1774 and Arthur Gainsford, who settled in Pennsylvania in 1876.



  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.


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