Metforthay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The name Metforthay is of Anglo-Saxon origin and came from when the family lived 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." 
Early Origins of the Metforthay family
The surname Metforthay 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." 
"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." 
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.
Important Dates for the Metforthay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Metforthay 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 Metforthay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Metforthay Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Metforthay are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. The variations of the name Metforthay include: Mitford, Medford, Midford and others.
Early Notables of the Metforthay family (pre 1700)
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Metforthay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Metforthay family
Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Metforthay or a variant listed above: William Mitford settled in Boston in 1767; Thomas Medford, who settled in Mississippi in 1820; as well as E. and T. Medford, who both settled in Baltimore in 1822..
- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.