The ancestors of the bearers of the Olfithy family name are thought have lived in ancient Anglo-Saxon England
. They were first found 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 Olfithy family
The surname Olfithy 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 Olfithy family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Olfithy research.Another 183 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1717, 1541 and 1588 are included under the topic Early Olfithy History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Olfithy Spelling Variations
Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon
surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations
. Changes in Anglo-Saxon
names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Olfithy include Holford, Holfords and others.
Early Notables of the Olfithy 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 Olfithy Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Olfithy family to the New World and Oceana
Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Olfithy or a variant listed above: Elizabeth Holford arrived in Annapolis, Maryland in 1729; Eleanor Holford settled in New England
in 1706; Thomas Holford settled in Maryland in 1725.