Olfert History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Olfert is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin and comes from a family once having lived in Holford, a place-name found in Somerset and Sussex. 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 Olfert family

The surname Olfert 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. [1] The River Holford which runs through the village flows to the sea at Kilve.

Important Dates for the Olfert family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Olfert research. Another 92 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1717, 1541 and 1588 are included under the topic Early Olfert History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Olfert Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Olfert has been recorded under many different variations, including Holford, Holfords and others.

Early Notables of the Olfert 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. [2] Blessed Thomas...
Another 30 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Olfert Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Olfert migration to the United States

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Olfert or a variant listed above:

Olfert Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Aaron Olfert, aged 42, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1876 [3]

Citations

  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
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