Lyfith History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origins of the Lyfith name come from when the Anglo-Saxon tribes ruled over Britain. The name Lyfith was originally derived from a family having 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 Lyfith family

The surname Lyfith 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 Lyfith family

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

Lyfith Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Lyfith include Lyford, Liford and others.

Early Notables of the Lyfith family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Lyfith family

A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants: 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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