Holdforth History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The name Holdforth has a long Anglo-Saxon heritage. The name comes from when a 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 Holdforth family
The surname Holdforth 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 Holdforth family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Holdforth research. Another 202 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1587, 1717, 1541 and 1588 are included under the topic Early Holdforth History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Holdforth Spelling Variations
Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Holdforth have been found, including Holford, Holfords and others.
Early Notables of the Holdforth 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 Holdforth Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Holdforth family
Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Holdforth, or a variant listed above: 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.