Holdforthe History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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The present generation of the Holdforthe family is only the most recent to bear a name that dates back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name comes from having 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 Holdforthe family
The surname Holdforthe 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 Holdforthe family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Holdforthe research. Another 202 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1587, 1717, 1541 and 1588 are included under the topic Early Holdforthe History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Holdforthe Spelling Variations
Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Holdforthe include Holford, Holfords and others.
Early Notables of the Holdforthe 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 Holdforthe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Holdforthe family
Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Holdforthe were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: Elizabeth Holford arrived in Annapolis, Maryland in 1729; Eleanor Holford settled in New England in 1706; Thomas Holford settled in Maryland in 1725.
Related Stories +
- ^ 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.