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.
Early Origins of the Playfair family
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.
Early History of the Playfair family
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.
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.
Early Notables of the Playfair family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Playfair Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Playfair family to the New World and Oceana
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 settled in Buenos Aires some time between the years 1836-1865
Playfair Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
- Andrew Playfair, who settled in Canada in 1817
Contemporary Notables of the name Playfair (post 1700)
- Sir Nigel Ross Playfair (1874-1934), English Actor-Manager and Producer
- Guy Lyon Playfair (1935-2018), British writer best known for his books about parapsychology
- Brigadier Cecil Homer Playfair, Canadian Deputy Director Medical Services II Canadian Corps CITATION[CLOSE]
Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, October 3) Cecil Playfair. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Playfair/Cecil_Homer/Canada.html
- Brigadier Thomas Alfred John Playfair (b. 1890), Commander Royal Artillery 2nd Australian Infantry Division CITATION[CLOSE]
Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, August 30) Thomas Playfair. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Playfair/Thomas_Alfred_John/Australia.html
- 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
- ... (Another 8 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)