Harfoot History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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Early Origins of the Harfoot family
The surname Harfoot was first found in Hertfordshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book,  indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of Hertford held by Count Alan and Eudo Fitzherbert from the King who were recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086.
Important Dates for the Harfoot family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Harfoot research. Another 173 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 158 and 1588 are included under the topic Early Harfoot History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Harfoot Spelling Variations
The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Harfoot has been recorded under many different variations, including Hartford, Harford, Hertford, Hartforth, Hertforth and others.
Early Notables of the Harfoot family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Harfoot Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Harfoot family
To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Harfoots were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America: Anne Hartford, who came to Virginia in 1637; Francis Harford, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1682; Elizabeth Harford, who settled in Jamaica in 1730; Charles Harford, who arrived in New York in 1795.
- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)