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 Pettyfor is an Anglicized form of the Old French word pedefer, or pied de fer, which means iron foot. The family name Pettyfor 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 Pettyfor family
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 Pettyfor family
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Pettyfor Spelling Variations
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 Pettyfor have been found, including Pettifer, Pettipher, Petipher, Petifer, Petiver and many more.
Early Notables of the Pettyfor family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Pettyfor 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, Australia, 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 Pettyfor were among those contributors: Elizabeth Pettiford settled in Maryland in 1720.
Pettyfor Family Crest Products