Stafford History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Stafford is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Stafford family lived in Staffordshire, at Stafford, from where their name is derived.

Early Origins of the Stafford family

The surname Stafford was first found in Staffordshire where they were descended from Roger de Toeni, founder of the Abbey of Conches, who died in the Civil Wars in Normandy in 1038.

His son, Ralph de Toeni, was hereditary Standard Bearer to King William the Conqueror, at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. His brother, Robert de Toeni, built a castle in Stafford and was the first to be surnamed Stafford.

The family held eighty manors in thirteen Midland counties as recorded in the Domesday Book compiled in 1086, and from the senior line of this noble family descended the Dukes of Buckingham.

The parish of Mugginton, Derbyshire played an important part of the family's heritage. "The manor, in Domesday Book Mogintune, was anciently held under Earl Ferrers, and in the reign of Edward I. was in moieties between the families of Chandos and Stafford. One moiety passed by a female heir to the immediate ancestor of Edward Sacheverell C. Pole, Esq.; and the Staffords' moiety has been successively in the families of Dethick, Rolleston, and Hallowes." [1]

Moving south to Cornwall, we found an interesting entry about the family. "The great manor or franchise of Callilond, or Kalliland, [in the parish of Southill, Cornwall] had formerly a very extensive jurisdiction, and which at present is far from being diminutive, originally belonged to the baronial family of Stafford. In the days of Richard III. this manor became divided, one third passing to the crown, and the other two thirds passing with an heiress of the Stafford family in marriage to Willoughby, Lord Broke." [2]

Early History of the Stafford family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Stafford research. Another 166 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1469, 1521, 1523, 1512, 1350, 1403, 1377, 1403, 1452, 1432, 1450, 1402, 1460, 1455, 1483, 1500, 1556, 1554, 1612, 1574, 1655, 1593, 1625, 1593, 1684, 1630 and are included under the topic Early Stafford History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Stafford Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Stafford are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Stafford include Stafford, Staford, Strafford and others.

Early Notables of the Stafford family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Katherine Swynford, Duchess of Lancaster (Catherine Synford), (1350-1403), daughter of Sir Payne (de) Roet originally a Flemish herald from County of Hainaut, later knighted; Edmund Stafford, 5th Earl of Stafford and 6th Baron Audley, (1377-1403), son of Hugh de Stafford, 2nd Earl of Stafford and Philippa de Beauchamp, inherited the Earldom at the age of 17; John Stafford (d. 1452), English statesman, Lord Chancellor (1432-1450), and Archbishop of Canterbury; Humphrey Stafford (1402-1460), English...
Another 80 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Stafford Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Stafford family to Ireland

Some of the Stafford family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 94 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Stafford migration to the United States +

Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Stafford, or a variant listed above:

Stafford Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Stafford, who settled in Virginia in 1622
  • Thomas Stafford, who settled in Rhode Island in 1630
  • Christopher Stafford, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Christopher Stafford, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [3]
  • Jane Stafford, aged 29, who landed in Barbados in 1635 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Stafford Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Anthony Stafford, who arrived in New York in 1796 [3]
Stafford Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Patrick Stafford, who landed in America in 1802 [3]
  • Robert Stafford, aged 54, who arrived in New York in 1812 [3]
  • Henry Stafford, aged 30, who arrived in New York in 1812 [3]
  • Aaron Stafford, aged 31, who landed in New York in 1812 [3]
  • Fanny Stafford, who settled in Boston with her husband Edward and five children in 1820
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Stafford migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Stafford Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Thomas Stafford, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Michael Stafford, who landed in Quebec in 1784
Stafford Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Robert Stafford, who was married at St. John's Newfoundland in 1805 [4]
  • John Stafford, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1825
  • Thomas Stafford, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1833
  • John Stafford, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1842

Australia Stafford migration to Australia +

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

Stafford Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Francis Stafford, Irish convict who was convicted in Dublin, Ireland for 7 years, transported aboard the "Atlas" on 29th November 1801, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [5]
  • Mr. Jacob Stafford Jr., , British convict who was convicted in Norwich, Norfolk, England for life, transported aboard the "Asia" on 29th September 1831, settling in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Ann Stafford, aged 24, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Sir Thomas Gresham" [7]
  • Ellen Stafford, aged 18, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Sir Thomas Gresham" [7]
  • Jane Stafford, aged 18, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Admiral Boxer"
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Stafford 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:

Stafford Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Edward Stafford, aged 27, a tailor, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Aurora" in 1840
  • Eliza Stafford, aged 22, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Aurora" in 1840
  • Edward Stafford, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship "Aurora"
  • C W Stafford, who landed in Nelson, New Zealand in 1842
  • D Stafford, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1842
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Stafford (post 1700) +

  • James A. Stafford, American politician, Mayor of Lake Worth, Florida, 1954-55 [8]
  • William P. Stafford (b. 1933), American Republican politician,Elected West Virginia State House of Delegates from Mercer County 1972 [8]
  • William Henry Stafford (1869-1957), American Republican politician, U.S. Representative from Wisconsin 5th District, 1903-11, 1913-19, 1921-23, 1929-33; Defeated, 1922 ; Candidate in primary for U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, 1938 [8]
  • William A. Stafford Jr., American politician, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, 1969-75 [8]
  • Walter Jerome Stafford, American Democrat politician, Candidate in primary for Michigan State House of Representatives 21st District, 1974 [8]
  • Walter G. Stafford, American politician, Delegate to New Hampshire State Constitutional Convention from Laconia 1st Ward, 1948 [8]
  • W. M. Stafford, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Mayor of Galveston, Texas, 1879 [8]
  • Tracy Stafford (b. 1948), American Democrat politician, Member of Florida State House of Representatives 92nd District, 1991- [8]
  • Samuel S. Stafford, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Chenango County 2nd District, 1865 [8]
  • Roy Stafford, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Oklahoma Territory, 1904; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Oklahoma, 1916 (member, Platform and Resolutions Committee) [8]
  • ... (Another 55 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Repulse
  • Mr. John Stafford, British Ordinary Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [9]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. Thomas Stafford, English Trimmer from Liverpool, England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [10]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. M. Stafford, age unknown, English Trimmer from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on collapsible B [11]


Suggested Readings for the name Stafford +

  • 644 Stafford: Descendants of Abraham and Frances Melissa Dearman Stafford by Zuma Fendalson Magee, the Staffords of North Carolina by Charles Warner Stafford.

  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th July 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/atlas
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 12th January 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1831
  7. ^ South Australian Register Monday 20th March 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Sir Thomas Gresham 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/sirthomasgresham1854.shtml.
  8. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2017, March 10) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  9. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  10. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 7) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  11. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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