Early Origins of the Oford family
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 Oford family
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Oford Spelling Variations
spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Offord, Offorth, Oford, Oforth, Offorde, Afford, Afforde, Afforth, Afforthe, Offworth, Ofworth, Offwurth and many more.
Early Notables of the Oford family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Oford family to the New World and Oceana
Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Oford or a variant listed above: Robert and Richard Offord, who were both recorded in the 1871 census of Ontario, and Nicholas Offord, who was naturalized in Illinois in 1884.
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