Offord History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The distinguished surname Offord is derived from "Offord," a place name that can be found in both Huntingdonshire and Warwickshire.
Early Origins of the Offord family
The surname Offord was first found in Huntingdon, where the family was anciently seated as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. He granted lands to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family, and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of Offord Cluny, held by Odo from Eustace the Sheriff, a Norman noble who was recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086.
Early History of the Offord family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Offord research. Another 80 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1221, 1273, 1327, and 1349 are included under the topic Early Offord History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Offord Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Offord, Offorth, Oford, Oforth, Offorde, Afford, Afforde, Afforth, Afforthe, Offworth, Ofworth, Offwurth and many more.
Early Notables of the Offord family (pre 1700)
Another 44 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Offord Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Offord name or one of its variants:
Offord Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Offord Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
Offord Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
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:
Offord Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century