Pitforthey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The name Pitforthey first arose amongst the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is derived from their having lived in the parish of Pitchford found in Shropshire.
Early Origins of the Pitforthey family
The surname Pitforthey 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 Pitforthey family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pitforthey research. Another 99 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1591, 1599, 1649 and 1695 are included under the topic Early Pitforthey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Pitforthey Spelling Variations
One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Pitforthey has appeared include Pickford, Pitchford, Picford, Pichford, Pitford and others.
Early Notables of the Pitforthey family (pre 1700)
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pitforthey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Pitforthey family
At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Pitforthey arrived in North America very early: 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)