Hertford History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Hertford family

The surname Hertford 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 Hertford family

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

Hertford Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Hartford, Harford, Hertford, Hartforth, Hertforth and others.

Early Notables of the Hertford family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Hertford family

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Hertford or a variant listed above: 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.

Contemporary Notables of the name Hertford (post 1700) +

  • Major-General Kenner Fisher Hertford (1900-1995), American Chief of Research & Development US Army (1954-1955) [2]

  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2012, March 12) Kenner Hertford. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Hertford/Kenner_Fisher/USA.html

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