Lightfoot History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Lightfoot is of Anglo-Saxon origin. It was name for a swift runner. The surname Lightfoot 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.

Early Origins of the Lightfoot family

The surname Lightfoot was first found in Oxfordshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Early History of the Lightfoot family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Lightfoot research. Another 82 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1303, 1602 and 1675 are included under the topic Early Lightfoot History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Lightfoot Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Lightfoot have been found, including Lightfoot, Lightford, Lightfoote and others.

Early Notables of the Lightfoot family (pre 1700)

Another 28 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Lightfoot Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Lightfoot family to Ireland

Some of the Lightfoot 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.


United States Lightfoot migration to the United States +

Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Among the first immigrants of the name Lightfoot, or a variant listed above to cross the Atlantic and come to North America were:

Lightfoot Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Lightfoot, who settled in Virginia in 1610
  • Francis Lightfoot, who settled in Lynn Massachusetts in 1630
  • Francis Lightfoot, who landed in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1636 [1]
  • John Lightfoot, who arrived in Virginia in 1650 [1]
  • William Lightfoot, who settled in Virginia in 1689
Lightfoot Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Philip Lightfoot, who arrived in Virginia in 1708 [1]
Lightfoot Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Christopher Lightfoot, aged 31, who arrived in Ohio in 1812 [1]
  • George Lightfoot, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1861 [1]

Canada Lightfoot migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Lightfoot Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Heny Lightfoot, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Mr. Richard Lightfoot U.E. who settled in Parr Town, Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 he was a member of the first Grand Jury [2]
Lightfoot Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Elenor Lightfoot, aged 36, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Billow" in 1833
  • George Lightfoot, aged 13, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Billow" in 1833
  • Patrick Lightfoot, aged 11, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Billow" in 1833
  • Andrew Lightfoot, aged 6, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Billow" in 1833
  • Jane Lightfoot, aged 9 months, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Billow" in 1833
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Lightfoot migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Lightfoot Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Lightfoot, English convict from Nottingham, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on September 3rd, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia [3]
  • Mr. James Lightfoot, English convict who was convicted in Knutsford (Nether Knutsford), Chester, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Barossa" on 9th May 1844, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [4]
  • Miss Sarah Lightfoot, (b. 1832), aged 17, Cornish housemaid travelling aboard the ship "Lysander" arriving in Port Phillip, New South Wales, Australia on 13th January 1849 [5]
  • Miss Sarah Lightfoot, (b. 1832), aged 17, Cornish general servant departing from Plymouth on 21st September 1848 aboard the ship "Lysander" arriving in Port Phillip, Victoria, Australia on 13th January 1849 [6]
  • Mr. John Lightfoot, (b. 1826), aged 24, English agricultural labourer from Brigg, Lincolnshire, England, UK departing from Plymouth on 9th December 1849 aboard the ship "Reliance" arriving in Port Phillip, Victoria, Australia on 19th March 1850 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Lightfoot migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Lightfoot Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. H Lightfoot, British settler travelling from London, UK aboard the ship "British Queen" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 30th August 1859 [7]
  • Mary Lightfoot, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1863
  • John Lightfoot, aged 24, who arrived in Bluff, New Zealand aboard the ship "Adamant" in 1875
  • Charlotte Lightfoot, aged 22, who arrived in Bluff, New Zealand aboard the ship "Adamant" in 1875
  • William J. Lightfoot, aged 34, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rakaia" in 1878
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Lightfoot (post 1700) +

  • Gordon Lightfoot CC, O.Ont (b. 1938), Canadian folk singer and songwriter referred to as Canada's greatest songwriter and, internationally, as a folk-rock legend, recipient of sixteen Juno Awards, nominated for five Grammy Awards
  • Edwin Niblock Lightfoot (1925-2017), American chemical engineer and Hilldale Professor Emeritus in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the 2004 recipient of the National Medal of Science
  • Sheryl Lightfoot, American assistant professor in the First Nations Studies Program at UBC
  • William P. Lightfoot, American Democrat politician, Member, Platform Committee, Democratic National Convention, 2008; Presidential Elector for District of Columbia, 2012 [8]
  • W. W. Lightfoot, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Texas, 1888 [8]
  • Phil M. Lightfoot, American politician, Mayor of Tuskegee, Alabama, 1956-59 [8]
  • James Ross Lightfoot (b. 1938), American Republican politician, U.S. Representative from Iowa, 1985-97; Candidate for U.S. Senator from Iowa, 1996; Candidate for Governor of Iowa, 1998 [8]
  • James R. Lightfoot, American politician, Member of Missouri State House of Representatives from St. Clair County, 1911-12 [8]
  • J. D. Lightfoot, American politician, Mayor of Chanute, Kansas, 1955-56 [8]
  • H. W. Lightfoot, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Texas, 1876 [8]
  • ... (Another 5 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. George Lightfoot, British Officers Steward from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [9]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Norman Anthony  Lightfoot (1921-1942), English Marine from Darwen, Lancashire, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking, was listed as missing and presumed killed during the evacuation of Singapore 1942 [10]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Worth Ross Lightfoot, American Gunner's Mate Third Class working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [11]


Suggested Readings for the name Lightfoot +

  • 3456 The Descendants of Samuel Lightfoot and Rachel Milhous by Dorothy Z. Milhous, The History of the Lightfoot and Shirley Families by Annie Lightfoot Leith.

  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  3. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1820 with 192 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1820
  4. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 24th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/barossa
  5. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, May 30). Ships' Passenger Lists of Arrivals in New South Wales on (1828 - 1842, 1848 - 1849) [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_nsw_1838_on.pdf
  6. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retreived 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_victoria.pdf
  7. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  8. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 8) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  9. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  10. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  11. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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