Pecforthay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Pecforthay has a long Anglo-Saxon heritage. The name comes from when a family lived in the parish of Pitchford found in Shropshire.

Early Origins of the Pecforthay family

The surname Pecforthay was first found in Shropshire at Pitchford, a small village and parish, in the union of Atcham, hundred of Condover where the village derives its name from the strong pitchy smell that emanates from the oily substance that frequently covers the surface of the water. Hence the place means "ford near a place where pitch if found," from the Old English words "pic" + "ford." [1]

Alternatively the family could have originated in Pickforde in Ticehurst (Sussex). [2]

The Domesday Book of 1086 lists the place as Piceforde [3] and also lists Pitchford Hall as "Edric, and Leofric and Wulfric held it as thress manors; they were free." [4]

Today Pitchford Hall is a large Grade I listed Tudor country house that was mostly rebuilt c. 1560. Portions of the Roman Watling Street runs through the grounds. Early records show that Geoffrey de Pykeford, a crusader, was Lord of the Manor from 1272. He also built the local church of St Michael, which contains an oak effigy of him.

Early rolls included: Alcock de Pykeford was listed in the Assize Rolls of 1288; and Thomas Pikeford in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex in 1332. [2]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had only one listing for the family: John de Picford, or Picheford found in Salop (Shropshire.) [5] The Writs of Parliament included two listings: John de Pycheford, 1277 and Galfridus de Picheford, 1296.

Early History of the Pecforthay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pecforthay research. Another 99 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1591, 1599, 1649 and 1695 are included under the topic Early Pecforthay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pecforthay Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Pecforthay have been found, including Pickford, Pitchford, Picford, Pichford, Pitford and others.

Early Notables of the Pecforthay family (pre 1700)

Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pecforthay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Pecforthay family

Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Pecforthay, or a variant listed above: Susan Pickford, who came to Barbados in 1659; Mary Pickford, who arrived in Virginia in 1663 with her husband; John Pitford arrived in Barbados in 1689.



  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  5. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)


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