Radford History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Radford first arose amongst the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is derived from their having lived beside a marsh or reedy ford. Radford is a topographic surname, which was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree. Habitation names form the other broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

Early Origins of the Radford family

The surname Radford was first found in Devon 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 Radford family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Radford research. Another 64 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1561 and 1630 are included under the topic Early Radford History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Radford 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 Radford has appeared include Radford, Ratford and others.

Early Notables of the Radford family (pre 1700)

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

Radford World Ranking

In the United States, the name Radford is the 2,339th most popular surname with an estimated 12,435 people with that name. [1] However, in Australia, the name Radford is ranked the 664th most popular surname with an estimated 5,882 people with that name. [2] And in New Zealand, the name Radford is the 789th popular surname with an estimated 924 people with that name. [3] The United Kingdom ranks Radford as 789th with 8,561 people. [4]


United States Radford migration to the United States +

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 Radford arrived in North America very early:

Radford Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • George, William, and Richard Radford, who settled in Virginia in 1637
  • Richard Radford, who landed in Virginia in 1637 [5]
  • John Radford, who landed in Virginia in 1652 [5]
  • Thomas Radford, who arrived in Maryland in 1668 [5]
  • George Radford and Rebecca settled in Virginia in 1673
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Radford migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Radford Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Elijah Radford, English convict who was convicted in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Chapman" on 6th April 1824, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [6]
  • Mr. Thomas Radford, (b. 1800), aged 29, English labourer who was convicted in Exeter, Devon, England for 14 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Claudine" on 19th August 1829, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • Mr. John Radford, British Convict who was convicted in Coventry, England for 7 years, transported aboard the " Dunvegan Castle" on 13th March 1830, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [8]
  • Thomas Radford, who arrived in Glenelg Roads aboard the ship "Pestonjee Bomanjee" in 1838 [9]
  • Martha Radford, who arrived in Glenelg Roads aboard the ship "Pestonjee Bomanjee" in 1838 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Radford migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Radford Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Radford, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Joseph Fletcher" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 18th August 1859 [10]
  • Miss Clara Radford, (b. 1862), aged Infant, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 26th December 1862 [10]
  • Mr. John Radford, (b. 1826), aged 36, British carpenter travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 26th December 1862 [10]
  • Mrs. Sarah Radford, (b. 1826), aged 36, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 26th December 1862 [10]
  • Miss Harriet Radford, (b. 1848), aged 14, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 26th December 1862 [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Radford migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [11]
Radford Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Heny Radford, who settled in St. Christopher (Saint Kitts) in 1635
  • Henrie Radford, aged 20, who arrived in St Christopher in 1635 [5]
  • Mr. Henrie Radford, (b. 1615), aged 20, British settler traveling aboard the ship "John" arriving in St Christopher (Saint Kitts) in 1635 [12]
  • Cornelius Radford who was banished to Barbados in 1685

Contemporary Notables of the name Radford (post 1700) +

  • Wayne Radford (1956-2021), American professional basketball player for the Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association
  • Arthur Radford (1896-1973), American World War II admiral, and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • William Radford, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Tennessee, 2008 [13]
  • William Radford (1814-1870), American Democratic Party politician, U.S. Representative from New York 10th District, 1863-67; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1864 [13]
  • W. Radford, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Nebraska, 1888 [13]
  • Vechel D. Radford, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Ohio, 1996 [13]
  • Stephen L. Radford (d. 1933), American Republican politician, Probate judge in Connecticut, 1914-30; Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Greenwich, 1933 [13]
  • Robert T. Radford, American politician, Mayor of Monrovia, California, 1953-54 [13]
  • Jake Radford, American Republican politician, Candidate in primary for Kentucky State House of Representatives 53rd District, 1975 [13]
  • Harold Radford, American Democratic Party politician, Chair of Lawrence County Democratic Party, 2003 [13]
  • ... (Another 12 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Dorsetshire
  • William Samuel Leigh Radford (d. 1945), British Mechanician 2nd Class aboard the HMS Dorsetshire when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [14]
HMS Royal Oak
  • James A. Radford, British Leading Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he survived the sinking [15]
  • Roy Radford (1919-1939), British Stoker 2nd Class with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [15]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Neal Jason Radford, American Musician Second Class from Nebraska, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [16]


Suggested Readings for the name Radford +

  • Minnie, Mallory, Boyett, and Mallory, Hagan, Pullen, Radford, Goggans, Peterson, and Richardson Kin by Woodrow W. Boyett.

  1. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  2. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  3. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  4. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  5. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  6. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retreived 26th January 2021, retreived from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/chapman)
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 18th February 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/claudine
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 12th August 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/dunvegan-castle
  9. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The PESTONJEE BOMANJEE 1838. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1838PestonjeeBomanjee.htm
  10. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  11. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  12. ^ Pilgrim Ship's of 1600's (Retrieved October 4th 2021, retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/daphne)
  13. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 9) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  14. ^ Force Z Survivors HMS Dorsetshire Crew List, (Retrieved 2018, February 13th), https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listdorsetshirecrew.html
  15. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html
  16. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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