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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


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The surname Telford was first found in Huntingdon, where they were descended from Taillefer of Normandy, jester to King William, Duke of Normandy, who asked the Duke for a favor at Hastings. Telfer put his horse to the gallop charging before all the rest to the amazement of the English soldiers. "A name of great antiquity. The exploits of the noble jouglere Taillefer at the battle of Hastings are well-known. William, Count of Angoulesme, in a battle against the Northmen engaged their king Storis, and with one stroke of his sword Durissima, forged by the great Wayland Smith, cut in two his body and cuirass. Hence he acquired the sobriquet of Taillefer, or 'cut iron.' " [1] He was granted lands in Huntingdon, but was invited by David, Earl of Huntingdon, later to be King of Scotland, to attend him in Scotland and was granted lands in Lanarkshire.

Spelling variations of this family name include: Telfer, Talfer, Telford, Telpher, Talifero, Tailyefer, Telfair and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Telford research. Another 145 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1150, 1500, 1643 and 1683 are included under the topic Early Telford History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the Telford family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 101 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Telford Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Mary Telford settled in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina in 1772
  • John Telford settled in Virginia in 1774
  • Francis Telford, who arrived in New York in 1796

Telford Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • George Telford, aged 42, landed in New York in 1812
  • James Telford, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1840
  • John Telford, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1842
  • William Telford, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1844
  • Thomas Telford, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1848

Telford Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • John Telford, English convict from Northumberland, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on July 29th, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • Leonard Telford, aged 26, arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Reliance"
  • Jane Telford, aged 17, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Taymouth Castle"
  • Robert Telford, aged 44, arrived in South Australia in 1857 aboard the ship "Monsoon"

Telford Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • John Telford landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Bengal Merchant
  • William Telford, aged 24, a shoemaker, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Lord William Bentinck" in 1841
  • William Telford, aged 38, a bricklayer, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "New Zealand" in 1842
  • Margaret Telford, aged 30, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "New Zealand" in 1842

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  • Anthony Telford (b. 1966), American Major League baseball player
  • Thomas Telford (1757-1834), Scottish stonemason, architect and civil engineer and a noted road, bridge and canal builder, eponym of Telford, Shropshire
  • Carly Mitchell Telford (b. 1987), English international football goalkeeper from County Durham
  • Bill "Snow" Telford, New Zealand rugby league player and coach
  • William Albert "Billy" Telford (b. 1956), English former professional footballer
  • Dick Telford (b. 1945), former Australian rules footballer
  • Zoe Telford (b. 1973), British actress
  • Carly Telford (b. 1987), English footballer
  • Robert Taylor Telford (1860-1933), Canadian pioneer and politician who served in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta from 1905 until 1913


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  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.

Other References

  1. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
  2. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. 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).
  4. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  5. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  6. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  7. Adam, Frank. Clans Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands 8th Edition. London: Bacon (G.W.) & Co, 1970. Print. (ISBN 10-0717945006).
  8. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and Don Pottinger. Clan Map Scotland of Old. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1983. Print.
  9. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  10. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The Telford Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Telford 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 15 October 2015 at 13:13.

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