The ancestors of the Olfeart surname lived among the ancient Anglo-Saxon
culture. The name comes from when they lived in Holford, a place-name found in Somerset
. The place-name is derived from the Old English elements hol,
which means hollow or valley, and ford,
a shallow place where a river may be crossed by wading. Fords were very important in medieval England
, as bridges were very expensive to both build and maintain. Any place where there was a ford across a river was bound to become a settlement of one sort or another, especially if it was a long way to the next ford up or down the river. In this particular case, the place-name Holford means "ford across the river in a valley."
Early Origins of the Olfeart family
The surname Olfeart was first found in West Somerset
in the hundred
of Whitley at Holford, a village and civil parish that dates back to the Domesday Book
of 1086 where it was listed as Holeforde. The place name literally meant "hollow ford, ford in a hollow," from the Old English words hol + ford. CITATION[CLOSE]
Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
The River Holford which runs through the village flows to the sea at Kilve.
Early History of the Olfeart family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Olfeart research.Another 183 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1717, 1541 and 1588 are included under the topic Early Olfeart History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Olfeart 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 Olfeart include Holford, Holfords and others.
Early Notables of the Olfeart family (pre 1700)
Notables of this surname at this time include: Lady Elizabeth Holford, who in 1717, gave £500 in support of a school in Stanton St. John in Oxfordshire
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
Blessed Thomas... Another 30 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Olfeart Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Olfeart family to the New World and Oceana
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: Elizabeth Holford arrived in Annapolis, Maryland in 1729; Eleanor Holford settled in New England
in 1706; Thomas Holford settled in Maryland in 1725.