Early Origins of the Heiford family
The surname Heiford was first found in Oxfordshire
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
Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
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 Heyford, held by Roger from the Baron
Robert d'Oilly who was recorded in the Domesday Book
census of 1086. The Baron
came from Ouilly le Basset near Falaise and he was a trusted follower of William the Conqueror. The Baron
built Oxford and Wallingford Castles. He held 51 domains in Oxfordshire
and had a large family.
Early History of the Heiford family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Heiford research.Another 143 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Heiford History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Heiford Spelling Variations
Multitudes of 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 Heyford, Hayford, Haiford, Heiford, Heighford, Haighford, Heafford, Hefford and many more.
Early Notables of the Heiford family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Heiford Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Heiford family to the New World and Oceana
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
Heiford Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- Richard Heiford, aged 24, a labourer, who arrived in Hawkes Bay aboard the ship "Countess of Kintore" in 1875
- Ellen Heiford, aged 25, who arrived in Hawkes Bay aboard the ship "Countess of Kintore" in 1875