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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Radford family come from? What is the English Radford family crest and coat of arms? When did the Radford family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Radford family history?

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.

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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.

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.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Radford research. Another 238 words(17 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Radford History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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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


  • Heny Radford settled in St. Christopher in 1635
  • Henrie Radford, aged 20, arrived in St Christopher in 1635
  • George, William, and Richard Radford settled in Virginia in 1637
  • Richard Radford, who landed in Virginia in 1637
  • John Radford, who landed in Virginia in 1652


Radford Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Radford arrived in Glenelg Roads aboard the ship "Pestonjee Bomanjee" in 1838
  • Martha Radford arrived in Glenelg Roads aboard the ship "Pestonjee Bomanjee" in 1838
  • Herman Radford arrived in Glenelg Roads aboard the ship "Pestonjee Bomanjee" in 1838
  • Eliza Radford arrived in Glenelg Roads aboard the ship "Pestonjee Bomanjee" in 1838
  • Charles Radford arrived in Glenelg Roads aboard the ship "Pestonjee Bomanjee" in 1838


Radford Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • William Henry Radford arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Pegasus" in 1865
  • Sarah Radford arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Triumph" in 1883

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  • Arthur Radford (1896-1973), American World War II admiral, and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • William Radford (1814-1870), American politician, a U.S. Representative from New York
  • Andrew John Radford (b. 1944), English Bishop of Taunton (1998-2006)
  • Dudley Radford (1910-1984), English RAF, Air Commodore
  • John Radford (b. 1947), English football player
  • Courtenay Arthur Ralegh Radford (1900-1999), English archaeologist and historian
  • Ernest Radford (1857-1919), English poet, critic and socialist
  • Steve Radford (b. 1957), British politician, leader of the Liberal Party (2005- 2009)
  • Basil Radford (1897-1952), British stage and film actor


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  • Minnie, Mallory, Boyett, and Mallory, Hagan, Pullen, Radford, Goggans, Peterson, and Richardson Kin by Woodrow W. Boyett.
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  1. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  2. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  3. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  4. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  5. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  7. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  8. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  9. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  10. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The Radford Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Radford 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 11 June 2014 at 10:24.

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