Mitford History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origins of the Mitford name come from when the Anglo-Saxon tribes ruled over Britain. The name Mitford was originally derived from a family having 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." [1]

Early Origins of the Mitford family

The surname Mitford 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 Mitford family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mitford 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 Mitford History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Mitford 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 Mitford include Mitford, Medford, Midford and others.

Early Notables of the Mitford family (pre 1700)

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


United States Mitford 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:

Mitford Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William Mitford, who settled in Boston in 1767

Australia Mitford migration to Australia +

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

Mitford Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Richard Mitford, British Convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for life , transported aboard the "Commodore Hayes" in April 1823, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [4]
  • Eustace Reveley Mitford, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Katherine Stewart Forbes" in 1839 [5]
  • Elizabeth Mitford, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Katherine Stewart Forbes" in 1839 [5]
  • Bertha Mitford, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Katherine Stewart Forbes" in 1839 [5]

New Zealand Mitford 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:

Mitford Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • J. T. Mitford, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Mandarin" in 1841
  • Mr. Mitford, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Mandarin" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 21st May 1841 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Mitford (post 1700) +

  • Jessica Mitford (1917-1996), English writer, daughter of the 2nd Baron Redesdale, one of the Mitford sisters
  • Diana Mitford (1910-2003), . English heiress who married aristocrat and writer Bryan Walter Guinness, one of the Mitford sisters
  • Pamela Mitford (1907-1994), known as "Woman", English heiress who married and divorced the millionaire physicist Derek Jackson, one of the Mitford sisters
  • Nancy Freeman Mitford (1904-1973), English writer, novelist, biographer and journalist, one of the renowned Mitford sisters
  • Mary Russell Mitford (1787-1855), English novelist and dramatist
  • John Mitford (1781-1859), English clergyman
  • William Mitford (1744-1827), English historian
  • Unity Valkyrie Mitford (1914-1948), English socialite
  • Robert Mitford Pinder (1890-1946), Canadian pharmacist, entrepreneur and politician, Mayor of Saskatoon (1935-1938), Member of the Legislative Assembly for Saskatoon City (1938-1944), founder of Pinder's Drugs


  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. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retrieved 4th March 2021, retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/commodore-hayes)
  5. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) KATHERINE STEWART FORBES 1837 arrived Holdfast Bay, near Adelaide, on October 17, 1837. . Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1837KatherineStewartForbes.htm
  6. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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