Petifer is a name whose history dates possibly as far back as 1066 when the Normans
first arrived in Britain following their Conquest of the island. It was a name for a person who never tired of walking or a soldier who had lost his foot in battle. The name Petifer is an Anglicized form of the Old French word pedefer,
or pied de fer,
which means iron foot.
The family name Petifer was brought to England
after the Norman Conquest
, when William the Conqueror gave his friends and relatives most of the land formerly owned by Anglo-Saxon
aristocrats. They imported a vast number of Norman French personal names, which largely replaced traditional Old English personal names among the upper and middle classes.
Early Origins of the Petifer family
The surname Petifer was first found in Worcestershire
where, they held a family seat
after the Norman Conquest
by William the Conqueror in 1066 A.D., where the name meant literally "Petite" and "Fere," meaning "the little wild beast," a soubriquet which has been corrupted to Pettifer, although a distant relationship has been claimed to Potiphar, the Faro's Captain of the Guard.
Early History of the Petifer family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Petifer research.Another 85 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1760, 1665 and 1718 are included under the topic Early Petifer History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Petifer Spelling Variations
in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred
years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Petifer have been found, including Pettifer, Pettipher, Petipher, Petifer, Petiver and many more.
Early Notables of the Petifer family (pre 1700)
Another 19 words (1 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Petifer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Petifer family to the New World and Oceana
For many English families, the social climate in England
was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland
, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Petifer were among those contributors: Elizabeth Pettiford settled in Maryland in 1720.