Pitfork History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Pitfork is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin and comes from a family once having lived in the parish of Pitchford found in Shropshire.
Early Origins of the Pitfork family
The surname Pitfork 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 Pitfork family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pitfork research. Another 99 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1591, 1599, 1649 and 1695 are included under the topic Early Pitfork History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Pitfork Spelling Variations
The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore,spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Pitfork has been recorded under many different variations, including Pickford, Pitchford, Picford, Pichford, Pitford and others.
Early Notables of the Pitfork family (pre 1700)
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pitfork Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Pitfork family
For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Pitfork or a variant listed above: 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)