Show ContentsHankforth History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Hankforth family

The surname Hankforth was first found in Dorset at Hanford, an extra-parochial liberty, in that part of the hundred of Redlane which is in the Sturminster division [1] or at Hanford in Staffordshire. This latter parish is actually older of the two as it dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 where it was listed as Heneford. [2] Later known as Honedford in 1212, the place name literally means "ford frequented by wild birds" or "ford at the stones." [3]

Alternatively the "surname is derived from a geographical locality. 'of Handforth,' a township in the parish of Cheadle, Cheshire, formerly Honford or Hondford." [4]

However, we must look to Somerset to find the first entry for the family: Simon de Hanford was listed in the Pipe Rolls of 1230. Later, John de Hondford was listed in the Assize Rolls of Staffordshire in 1325. [5]

Back in Cheshire, John de Honford i.e. Handforth was listed there in 1370 and Thomas de Honford in 1398. [4]

Monkleigh, Devon was of particular importance to the family. "Here is the ancient seat and park of Annery, once the home of the Stapledons, then by marriage of the Hankfords. This was the residence of Sir William Hankford, born at Hankford, in Bulkworthy, and created in 1413 Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench. " [6]

Early History of the Hankforth family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hankforth research. Another 95 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1598, 1638, 1635, 1565, 1598, 1784, 1422, 1419, 1420, 1390, 1397 and 1387 are included under the topic Early Hankforth History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hankforth Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Hankforth family name include Hankford, Hanforth, Hankforth, Hanckford and others.

Early Notables of the Hankforth family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Sir William Hankeford (d. 1422), an English "judge, probably a younger brother of Sir Richard Hankeford, who held extensive estates near Bulk worthy in the parish of Buckland Brewer, Devonshire, and died in 1419-1420. He was appointed king's serjeant in 1390, was present...
Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hankforth Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Hankforth family

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Hankforth surname or a spelling variation of the name include: the name represented in many forms and recorded from the mid 17th century in the great migration from Europe. Migrants settled in the eastern seaboard from Newfoundland, to Maine, to Virginia, the Carolinas, and to the islands..



  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  4. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  6. Worth, R.N., A History of Devonshire London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E.G., 1895. Digital


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