The name Houlford first arose amongst the Anglo-Saxon
tribes of Britain. It is derived from their having lived in Holford, a place-name found in Somerset
. 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 Houlford family
The surname Houlford 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. CITATION[CLOSE]
Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
The River Holford which runs through the village flows to the sea at Kilve.
Early History of the Houlford family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Houlford research.Another 183 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1717, 1541 and 1588 are included under the topic Early Houlford History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Houlford Spelling Variations
One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations
under which the name Houlford has appeared include Holford, Holfords and others.
Early Notables of the Houlford 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
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
Blessed Thomas... Another 30 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Houlford Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Houlford family to the New World and Oceana
At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England
was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England
at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Houlford arrived in North America very early: Elizabeth Holford arrived in Annapolis, Maryland in 1729; Eleanor Holford settled in New England
in 1706; Thomas Holford settled in Maryland in 1725.