Liforthy History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Liforthy is of Anglo-Saxon origin and came from when the family lived in the chapelry of Lyford found in the parish of West Hannay in the county of Berkshire. [1]

The place name dates back to Saxon times when in 944, it was first known as Linforda and literally meant "ford where flax grows," from the Old English "lin" + "ford." [2] By the time of the Domesday Book in 1086, it was known as Linford. [3] At that time, Lyford was in Oxfordshire.

One noted source has this interesting passage about the origin of the name: "This name greatly puzzled me, till I bethought myself of looking it out in Holinshed in connection with Osevile. There I found the latter succeeding Olifant—the modernized form of Olifard: and I think we may therefore reasonably conclude that the first letter has been accidentally left out, and that the name should stand 'Olifard.' " [4]

Early Origins of the Liforthy family

The surname Liforthy was first found in Berkshire, at Lyford. It should be noted that as this place name was originally in Oxfordshire, that it should come as no surprise that Oxfordshire is where the first record of the family, specifically John de Lyford who was found in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. [5]

Later, "Thomas Lyford was a Berkshire gentleman living in the reign of Henry VI." [6]

Early History of the Liforthy family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Liforthy research. Another 65 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 127 and 1273 are included under the topic Early Liforthy History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Liforthy Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Liforthy are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. The variations of the name Liforthy include: Lyford, Liford and others.

Early Notables of the Liforthy family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Liforthy Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Liforthy family

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Liforthy or a variant listed above: Anne, John, Martha, Mordecai, Obediah, Ruth, and Sarah Lyford, who all arrived at Plymouth Massachusetts in 1624; as well as William Lyford, who settled in Virginia in 1739..



  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. ^ 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
  5. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  6. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.


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