Humfreville History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The history of the Humfreville family name begins after the Norman Conquest of 1066. They lived in "Amfreville, in the viscounty of Evereux, which was held by the service of two knights. This family came to England at the Conquest." 
Early Origins of the Humfreville family
The surname Humfreville was first found in Northumberland where they held a family seat from 1066, when William, Duke of Normandy, granted the forest, valley, and Lordship of Riddesdale, to Sir Robert Umfreville (nicknamed Robert with the Beard,) Lord of Tours and Vian in Normandy.
The family took control of Prudhoe Castle on the south bank of the River Tyne at Prudhoe, Northumberland. "In the reign of King John, we find Richard de Umfraville making 'his whole court at Whelpington' witness to a grant to the monks of Kelso; and the place for some time subsequently continued in this family, of whom Gilbert, in 1267, obtained from Henry III. liberty to hold a weekly market and annual fair here, which privileges, however, remained in force only for a very short period." 
The parish of Monkridge-Ward also held special significance the family. "About the year 1242, Munkeriche was held of Gilbert de Umfraville by Maria de Munkeriche and Roger Dun, by drengage service; in 1398, Maud, widow of Gilbert de Umfraville, died seised of the place." 
"The Umfravilles, a Norman house whose name is derived from Amfreville, between Brionne and Louviers in Normandy, had possessed since the Conquest the liberty of Redesdale in Northumberland, and since Henry I's time the castle of Prudhoe, south of the Tyne, in the same county." 
And a branch of the family was found at Barrasford, again in Northumberland. "At this place, which, with the exception of a small freehold, is the property of the Duke of Northumberland, Robert de Umfraville in 1303 obtained license from Edward I. to hold a market on Wednesdays, and a fair on November 11th, both of which have been discontinued." 
"No Border barons were more constantly in the saddle, or more eager at the call of the slogan; none so busied in the unceasing turmoil of the Marcher feuds, or so fierce and dauntless in their life-long warfare against the Scots. They had full jurisdiction within their spacious domain, and needed to be powerful as well as brave, for they had to hold the castles of Harbottle and Otterburn in addition to their great stronghold of Prudhoe, so gallantly defended against William the Lion in 1170. After many fruitless assaults, the Scottish King had to raise the siege and retreat homewards, and was taken prisoner on his march to Alnwick by Odonel de Umfreville and Bernard Baliol." 
Early History of the Humfreville family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Humfreville research. Another 118 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1743, 1245, 1246, 1308, 1277 and 1325 are included under the topic Early Humfreville History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Humfreville Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Umfreville, Umphreville, Umfrevill, Umphrevill and many more.
Early Notables of the Humfreville family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Gilbert de Umfraville (d.1245), a 13th-century nobleman; and his son, Gilbert de Umfraville, Earl of Angus (r. 1246-1308), the first of...
Another 28 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Humfreville Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Humfreville family
Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Humfreville name or one of its variants: Robert Umfravill who landed in America in 1760.
Related Stories +
- ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3