Olforthy History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The Anglo-Saxon name Olforthy comes from when the family resided 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 Olforthy family
The surname Olforthy 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.  The River Holford which runs through the village flows to the sea at Kilve.
Early History of the Olforthy family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Olforthy research. Another 202 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1587, 1717, 1541 and 1588 are included under the topic Early Olforthy History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Olforthy 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. Olforthy has been recorded under many different variations, including Holford, Holfords and others.
Early Notables of the Olforthy 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.  Blessed Thomas...
Migration of the Olforthy family
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 Olforthy 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.