England in the enormous movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Hawkesfert family lived at Axford, in the county of Wiltshire. Checking further we found the name was derived from the Old English words aesc and ford, meaning ash tree and ford.
Early Origins of the Hawkesfert family
Wiltshire at Axford, a hamlet in the Kennet Valley which dates back to 1184 when it was listed as Axeford. The place name literally means "ford by the ash-trees," having derived from the Old English words "aesc" + "ford." CITATION[CLOSE]
Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4) The family held a family seat at Ramsbury from ancient times. Today, Ramsbury is a village and civil parish that includes the hamlet Axford. It was originally spelt Ramesberrie. Ramsbury at the time of the Domesday Book was one of the larger holdings in the county of Wiltshire and consisted of 10 Mills. It was held by the Bishop of Salisbury. It also included Axford's Farm, from which the Axford family name is conjecturally descended. Axford's Farm is noted for its water mill. Axford is also a village in Hampshire, part of the civil parish of Nutley.
Early History of the Hawkesfert family
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Hawkesfert Spelling Variations
spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Axford, Acksford, Ackford, Hackford, Hacksford, Hawksford, Hawkford, Hawkesford and many more.
Early Notables of the Hawkesfert family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Hawkesfert family to the New World and Oceana
Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Hawkesfert or a variant listed above: Ephraim Axford who settled in Virginia in 1670; Richard Axford who landed in Maryland in 1660; William Hawksford settled in Maryland in 1775.
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