Picforthay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The origins of the Picforthay name lie with England's ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. It comes from when the family lived in the parish of Pitchford found in Shropshire.
Early Origins of the Picforthay family
The surname Picforthay 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." 
Alternatively the family could have originated in Pickforde in Ticehurst (Sussex). 
The Domesday Book of 1086 lists the place as Piceforde  and also lists Pitchford Hall as "Edric, and Leofric and Wulfric held it as thress manors; they were free." 
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. 
The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had only one listing for the family: John de Picford, or Picheford found in Salop (Shropshire.)  The Writs of Parliament included two listings: John de Pycheford, 1277 and Galfridus de Picheford, 1296.
Early History of the Picforthay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Picforthay research. Another 99 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1591, 1599, 1649 and 1695 are included under the topic Early Picforthay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Picforthay Spelling Variations
Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Picforthay were recorded, including Pickford, Pitchford, Picford, Pichford, Pitford and others.
Early Notables of the Picforthay family (pre 1700)
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Picforthay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Picforthay family
To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Picforthay family emigrate to North America: 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.
Related Stories +
- ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)