Lyfithey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origins of the Lyfithey name lie with England's ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. It comes 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 Lyfithey family

The surname Lyfithey 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 Lyfithey family

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

Lyfithey 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 Lyfithey were recorded, including Lyford, Liford and others.

Early Notables of the Lyfithey family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Lyfithey 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 Lyfithey family emigrate to North America: 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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