The Pottifer surname, of Norman ancestry, was a name given to a person who never tired of walking or a soldier who had lost his foot in battle. The name Pottifer is an Anglicized form of the Old French word pedefer,
or pied de fer,
which means iron foot.
The family name Pottifer was brought to England
after the Norman Conquest
, when William the Conqueror gave his friends and relatives most of the land formerly owned by Anglo-Saxon
aristocrats. They imported a vast number of Norman French personal names, which largely replaced traditional Old English personal names among the upper and middle classes.
Early Origins of the Pottifer family
The surname Pottifer was first found in Worcestershire
where, they held a family seat
after the Norman Conquest
by William the Conqueror in 1066 A.D., where the name meant literally "Petite" and "Fere," meaning "the little wild beast," a soubriquet which has been corrupted to Pettifer, although a distant relationship has been claimed to Potiphar, the Faro's Captain of the Guard.
Early History of the Pottifer family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pottifer research.Another 85 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1760, 1665 and 1718 are included under the topic Early Pottifer History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Pottifer Spelling Variations
Endless spelling variations
are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Pettifer, Pettipher, Petipher, Petifer, Petiver and many more.
Early Notables of the Pottifer family (pre 1700)
Another 19 words (1 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pottifer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Pottifer family to the New World and Oceana
To escape the political and religious persecution within England
at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Pottifer or a variant listed above: Elizabeth Pettiford settled in Maryland in 1720.