Medford History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Medford comes from when the family resided in Mitford, Northumberland where the name is "descended from Matthew, brother of John, who is said to have held the castle of Mitford soon after the Conquest. The ancestors of the present family appear to have been for many ages resident at Mitford, though the castle was not in their possession till it was granted with the manor by Charles II to Robert Litford, Esq." [1]

Early Origins of the Medford family

The surname Medford was first found in Northumberland at Mitford, a village and parish in the union of Morpeth. The earliest record of the place name was found in 1196 when it was listed as Midford. The place name literally meant "ford where two streams join." [2]

"The manor in the time of the Saxons belonged to the family of Mitford, and at the Conquest was part of the possessions of John, Lord of Mitford, whose only daughter, Sybil, was married by the Conqueror to Sir Richard Bertram, son of the lord of Dignam, in Normandy." [3]

Nearby is Mitford Castle which dates from the end of the 11th century. The Norman motte and bailey castle stands above the River Wansbeck and was the first of three seats for the main line of the Mitford family. It's in ruins today but Mitford Old Manor House built in the 1600s remains nearby. Mitford Hall is a Georgian mansion house built in 1828 by the Mitford family.

Early History of the Medford family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Medford research. Another 109 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1407, 1389, 1390, 1395, 1612, 1674 and 1659 are included under the topic Early Medford History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Medford 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 Medford include Mitford, Medford, Midford and others.

Early Notables of the Medford family (pre 1700)

Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Medford Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Medford Ranking

In the United States, the name Medford is the 6,532nd most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [4]

United States Medford migration to the United States +

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:

Medford Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Medford, who settled in Mississippi in 1820
  • E. T. Medford, who both settled in Baltimore in 1822

Contemporary Notables of the name Medford (post 1700) +

  • Jody Medford, American Southern Gospel singer
  • Kay Medford (1914-1980), born Margaret Kathleen O'Regan, American Academy Award and Tony award nominated character actress and comedienne
  • Donald "Don" Medford (b. 1917), American television director, known for his work on Dynasty (1981-1988), and The Cowboys (1985-1987)
  • William Medford (b. 1909), American Democratic Party politician, Member of North Carolina State Senate, 1947-48, 1951-52, 1955-56, 1959; U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina, 1961-69 [5]
  • Hernán Evaristo Medford Bryan (b. 1968), Costa Rican football player and coach
  • Paul J. Medford (b. 1967), British Laurence Olivier Award nominated actor and performer
  • Medford Stanton Evans (1934-2015), American journalist and author of eight books, including Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America's Enemies (2007)

  1. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 4) . Retrieved from on Facebook