The name Pettifith was formed many centuries ago by the early Norman settlers that followed the 1066 Conquest of the island. It was a name typically given to a person who never tired of walking or a soldier who had lost his foot in battle. The name Pettifith is an Anglicized form of the Old French word pedefer,
or pied de fer,
which means iron foot.
The family name Pettifith 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 Pettifith family
The surname Pettifith 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 Pettifith family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pettifith research.Another 85 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1760, 1665 and 1718 are included under the topic Early Pettifith History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Pettifith 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 Pettifith have been found, including Pettifer, Pettipher, Petipher, Petifer, Petiver and many more.
Early Notables of the Pettifith family (pre 1700)
Another 19 words (1 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pettifith Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Pettifith 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 Pettifith were among those contributors: Elizabeth Pettiford settled in Maryland in 1720.