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Pettiford History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The family name Pettiford dates back to the beginnings of the Norman culture in Britain - the Norman Conquest of 1066. Originally, Pettiford was a name given to a person who never tired of walking or a soldier who had lost his foot in battle. The name Pettiford is an Anglicized form of the Old French word pedefer, or pied de fer, which means iron foot. The family name Pettiford 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 Pettiford family

The surname Pettiford 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 Pettiford family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pettiford research.
Another 85 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1760, 1665 and 1718 are included under the topic Early Pettiford History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pettiford Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years the English language had no fixed system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations occurred commonly in Anglo Norman surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Pettiford were recorded, including Pettifer, Pettipher, Petipher, Petifer, Petiver and many more.

Early Notables of the Pettiford family (pre 1700)

Another 19 words (1 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pettiford Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Pettiford family to the New World and Oceana

The unstable environment in England at this time caused numerous families to board ships and leave in search of opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad in places like Ireland, Australia, and particularly the New World. The voyage was extremely difficult, however, and only taken at great expense. The cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels caused many to arrive diseased and starving, not to mention destitute from the enormous cost. Still opportunity in the emerging nations of Canada and the United States was far greater than at home and many went on to make important contributions to the cultures of their adopted countries. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Pettiford arrived in North America very early:

Pettiford Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Elizabeth Pettiford, who settled in Maryland in 1720

Contemporary Notables of the name Pettiford (post 1700)

  • Kenneth Pettiford, American head college football coach
  • Valarie Pettiford (b. 1960), American stage and television actress, dancer, and jazz singer
  • Oscar Pettiford (1922-1960), American jazz double bassist, cellist and composer
  • John "Jack" Pettiford (1919-1964), Australian cricketer

Pettiford Family Crest Products

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