Harteford History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Harteford family

The surname Harteford 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, [1] 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 Harteford family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Harteford research. Another 173 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 158 and 1588 are included under the topic Early Harteford History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Harteford Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Hartford, Harford, Hertford, Hartforth, Hertforth and others.

Early Notables of the Harteford family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Harteford Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Harteford family

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Harteford or a variant listed above were: 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.

Citations

  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
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