Show ContentsHartford History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Hartford family

The surname Hartford 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.

Early History of the Hartford family

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

Hartford Spelling Variations

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Hartford, Harford, Hertford, Hartforth, Hertforth and others.

Early Notables of the Hartford family (pre 1700)

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

Hartford Ranking

In the United States, the name Hartford is the 5,784th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [2]

United States Hartford migration to the United States +

Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Hartford or a variant listed above:

Hartford Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Anne Hartford, who landed in Virginia in 1637 aboard the ship "Tristram and Jane" [3]
  • Edward Hartford, who arrived in Virginia in 1653 [3]
  • Eliz Hartford, who landed in Virginia in 1657 [3]
  • John Hartford, who landed in Virginia in 1663 [3]
  • Charles Hartford, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1682 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Hartford Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Ann Hartford, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1855 [3]
  • Amelia Hartford, who settled in New York in 1861
  • James Hartford, who arrived in Ohio in 1889 [3]
  • William Hartford, who landed in Ohio in 1889 [3]
  • Blythe Hartford, who settled in Detroit in 1895

Canada Hartford migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Hartford Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Almira Hartford, who settled in Ontario in 1861

Contemporary Notables of the name Hartford (post 1700) +

  • John Augustine Hartford (1872-1951), American executive with the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company
  • Dee Hartford (b. 1928), retired American television actress
  • Eden Hartford (1930-1983), American actress and one time wife of Groucho Marx (1954-1969)
  • John Hartford (b. 1937), American musician who won Grammy awards in three different decades
  • George Huntington Hartford (1833-1917), co-founder of The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company
  • Richard 'Asa' Hartford (b. 1950), retired Scottish international midfielder
  • William Hartford James (1831-1920), American politician best known as the second Governor of Nebraska

  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  3. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8) on Facebook