Holdfeard History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The origins of the Holdfeard name lie with England's ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. It comes from when the family lived in Holford, a place-name found in Somerset and Sussex. The place-name is derived from the Old English elements hol, which means hollow or valley, and ford, a shallow place where a river may be crossed by wading. Fords were very important in medieval England, as bridges were very expensive to both build and maintain. Any place where there was a ford across a river was bound to become a settlement of one sort or another, especially if it was a long way to the next ford up or down the river. In this particular case, the place-name Holford means "ford across the river in a valley."
Early Origins of the Holdfeard family
The surname Holdfeard was first found in West Somerset in the hundred of Whitley at Holford, a village and civil parish that dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 where it was listed as Holeforde. The place name literally meant "hollow ford, ford in a hollow," from the Old English words hol + ford.  The River Holford which runs through the village flows to the sea at Kilve.
Early History of the Holdfeard family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Holdfeard research. Another 202 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1587, 1717, 1541 and 1588 are included under the topic Early Holdfeard History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Holdfeard Spelling Variations
Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Holdfeard were recorded, including Holford, Holfords and others.
Early Notables of the Holdfeard family (pre 1700)
Notables of this surname at this time include: Lady Elizabeth Holford, who in 1717, gave £500 in support of a school in Stanton St. John in Oxfordshire.  Blessed Thomas...
Another 30 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Holdfeard Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Holdfeard family
To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Holdfeard family emigrate to North America: Elizabeth Holford arrived in Annapolis, Maryland in 1729; Eleanor Holford settled in New England in 1706; Thomas Holford settled in Maryland in 1725.
- Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.