Peckforthay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Peckforthay is of Anglo-Saxon origin and came from when a family lived in the parish of Pitchford found in Shropshire.

Early Origins of the Peckforthay family

The surname Peckforthay 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 Peckforthay family

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

Peckforthay Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Peckforthay family name include Pickford, Pitchford, Picford, Pichford, Pitford and others.

Early Notables of the Peckforthay family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Peckforthay family

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Peckforthay surname or a spelling variation of the name include : 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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