Umfraville History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The name Umfraville came to England with the ancestors of the Umfraville family in the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Umfraville family lived in "Amfreville, in the viscounty of Evereux, which was held by the service of two knights. This family came to England at the Conquest." 
Early Origins of the Umfraville family
The surname Umfraville was first found in Northumberland where they held a family seat from 1066, when William, Duke of Normandy, granted the forest, valley, and Lordship of Riddesdale, to Sir Robert Umfreville (nicknamed Robert with the Beard,) Lord of Tours and Vian in Normandy.
The family took control of Prudhoe Castle on the south bank of the River Tyne at Prudhoe, Northumberland. "In the reign of King John, we find Richard de Umfraville making 'his whole court at Whelpington' witness to a grant to the monks of Kelso; and the place for some time subsequently continued in this family, of whom Gilbert, in 1267, obtained from Henry III. liberty to hold a weekly market and annual fair here, which privileges, however, remained in force only for a very short period." 
The parish of Monkridge-Ward also held special significance the family. "About the year 1242, Munkeriche was held of Gilbert de Umfraville by Maria de Munkeriche and Roger Dun, by drengage service; in 1398, Maud, widow of Gilbert de Umfraville, died seised of the place." 
"The Umfravilles, a Norman house whose name is derived from Amfreville, between Brionne and Louviers in Normandy, had possessed since the Conquest the liberty of Redesdale in Northumberland, and since Henry I's time the castle of Prudhoe, south of the Tyne, in the same county." 
And a branch of the family was found at Barrasford, again in Northumberland. "At this place, which, with the exception of a small freehold, is the property of the Duke of Northumberland, Robert de Umfraville in 1303 obtained license from Edward I. to hold a market on Wednesdays, and a fair on November 11th, both of which have been discontinued." 
"No Border barons were more constantly in the saddle, or more eager at the call of the slogan; none so busied in the unceasing turmoil of the Marcher feuds, or so fierce and dauntless in their life-long warfare against the Scots. They had full jurisdiction within their spacious domain, and needed to be powerful as well as brave, for they had to hold the castles of Harbottle and Otterburn in addition to their great stronghold of Prudhoe, so gallantly defended against William the Lion in 1170. After many fruitless assaults, the Scottish King had to raise the siege and retreat homewards, and was taken prisoner on his march to Alnwick by Odonel de Umfreville and Bernard Baliol." 
Early History of the Umfraville family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Umfraville research. Another 118 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1743, 1245, 1246, 1308, 1277 and 1325 are included under the topic Early Umfraville History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Umfraville Spelling Variations
Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Umfreville, Umphreville, Umfrevill, Umphrevill and many more.
Early Notables of the Umfraville family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Gilbert de Umfraville (d.1245), a 13th-century nobleman; and his son, Gilbert de Umfraville, Earl of Angus (r. 1246-1308), the first of...
Another 28 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Umfraville Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Umfraville family
Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Umfraville or a variant listed above: Robert Umfravill who landed in America in 1760.
- The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
- Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3