Lightfarde History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Lightfarde is a name whose history is entwined with the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It was a name for a swift runner. The surname Lightfarde is derived from the Old English words leoht, which means light, and fot, which means foot.  Occasionally, this name was applied as an occupational surname to a messenger. 
"The name 'Martin with the Light Foot' is said to have been given to one of the followers of the Saxon hero Hereward, on account of his swiftness, but the modern English name is probably corrupted from the local name Lydford co. Devon." 
Lydford is an ancient Saxon village dating back to 997 when it "sustained severe injury from the Danes, who, after the destruction of Tavistock Abbey, burnt forty of the houses in the town."  Known as Hlydanforda c. 1000 and later as Lideforda in the Domesday Book of 1086 , it literally meant "ford over the River Lyd." 
While we cannot discount this learned writer's postulation, we wish to point out to the reader that more than five other similarly noted authors believe the name to be a nickname.
Early Origins of the Lightfarde family
The surname Lightfarde was first found in Oxfordshire where the first record of the family was William Lihfot who was listed there. Years later, Hugh Lihtfott was found in the Curia Regis Rolls for Lincolnshire in 1206 and John Lyghtfot was found in the Assize Rolls for Cheshire in 1296. 
The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included William Lightfot, Cambridgeshire and Henry Lithtot, Oxfordshire and later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed Willelmus Lightfote. 
There was only one ancient record found further to the north in Scotland, specifically "Duncan Lightfot, messenger from Dunfermline, recorded in 1303." 
Early History of the Lightfarde family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Lightfarde research. Another 102 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1303, 1301, 1571, 1602, 1675, 1643, 1668, 1730 and 1759 are included under the topic Early Lightfarde History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Lightfarde Spelling Variations
Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Lightfarde were recorded, including Lightfoot, Lightford, Lightfoote and others.
Early Notables of the Lightfarde family (pre 1700)
Notables of the family at this time include John Lightfoot (1602-1675), an English churchman, rabbinical scholar, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge and Master of St Catharine's College, Cambridge. He was born in Stoke-on-Trent, the son of Thomas Lightfoot, vicar of Uttoxeter, Staffordshire. Lightfoot was one of the original members of the Westminster Assembly and was made Master of Catharine Hall (renamed St...
Another 62 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Lightfarde Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Lightfarde family to Ireland
Some of the Lightfarde family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Lightfarde family
To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Lightfarde family emigrate to North America: John Lightfoot settled in Virginia in 1610; ten years before the "Mayflower"; another John Lightfoote settled in Virginia in 1623; William Lightfoot settled in Virginia in 1689.
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