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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The origins of the Playfair surname date back to the time of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It comes from an early member of the family who was a person known as a "companion" derived from a combination of the Middle English words "pley" meaning "sport" and "fere." A broad and miscellaneous class of surnames, nickname surnames referred to a characteristic of the first person who used the name. They can describe the bearer's favored style of clothing, appearance, habits, or character. In Scotland, the name Playfair is often a variant of Playford.

Playfair Early Origins



The surname Playfair was first found in Kent where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.

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Playfair Spelling Variations


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Playfair Spelling Variations



The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Playfair has been spelled many different ways, including Playfair, Pleyfair, Playford and others.

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Playfair Early History


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Playfair Early History



This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Playfair research. Another 225 words (16 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Playfair History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Playfair Early Notables (pre 1700)


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Playfair Early Notables (pre 1700)



More information is included under the topic Early Playfair Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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The Great Migration


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The Great Migration



Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Playfairs to arrive in North America:

Playfair Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • James Playfair, who settled in Virginia in 1722

Playfair Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Charles Playfair, William Playfair, and Mary Playfair, who all arrived at the port of New York in 1820
  • Robert Haldane Playfair, who came to Buenos Aires some time between the years 1836-1865

Playfair Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Andrew Playfair, who came to Canada in 1817

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Contemporary Notables of the name Playfair (post 1700)


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Contemporary Notables of the name Playfair (post 1700)



  • Sir Nigel Ross Playfair (1874-1934), English Actor-Manager and Producer
  • Brigadier Cecil Homer Playfair, Canadian Deputy Director Medical Services II Canadian Corps
  • Brigadier Thomas Alfred John Playfair (b. 1890), Commander Royal Artillery 2nd Australian Infantry Division
  • Ian Stanley Ord Playfair (1894-1972), general in the British Army
  • Air Marshal Sir Patrick Playfair KBE CB CVO MC RAF (1889-1974), British air marshal in WWI & WWII
  • Lyon Playfair (1818-1898), 1st Baron Playfair, promoter of the Playfair cipher, manual symmetric encryption technique
  • Larry Playfair (b. 1958), Canadian NHL ice hockey player and announcer
  • Judy Playfair (b. 1953), Australian Olympic swimmer
  • Jim Playfair (b. 1964), Canadian NHL ice hockey player and coach
  • James Playfair (1755-1794), Scottish architect
  • ... (Another 7 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

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Playfair Family Crest Products


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Playfair Family Crest Products




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See Also


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See Also




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Citations


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Citations



    Other References

    1. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
    2. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
    3. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    4. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
    5. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
    6. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    7. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
    8. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
    9. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
    10. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
    11. ...

    The Playfair Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Playfair Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

    This page was last modified on 9 October 2014 at 08:07.

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