Show ContentsWakeferd History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The present generation of the Wakeferd family is only the most recent to bear a name that dates back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name comes from having lived at Wakefield in the West Riding of Yorkshire. "Its name, in the Domesday Survey Wachefeld, is of Saxon origin. In the reign of Edward the Confessor, it formed part of the royal demesnes; and, after the Conquest, was granted by Henry I. to William, Earl Warren, with whose descendants it remained till the reign of Edward III. " [1]

However, the surname Wakeferd is occasionally derived from another settlement by the same name in Northumberland. The surname Wakeferd belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

Early Origins of the Wakeferd family

The surname Wakeferd was first found in Yorkshire where Wachefeld, being King William's land was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086. [2]

Early English rolls provide us a glimpse of the spelling variations used through Medieval times. Today we typically need to look beyond the spellings of these entries and concentrate on on a phonetic appreciation of the names. Lager de Wakfeld was listed in the Assize Rolls for Yorkshire in 1219; Thomas de Wakfeld in the Feet of Fines for Essex in 1342; and Richard Wakefeld was found in Yorkshire in 1415. [3]

One of the more interesting first mentions of the name was "Peter of Wakefield or Peter of Pontefract (died 1213), an English hermit. He prophesied that King John's crown would be passed to another by next Ascension Day, 23 May 1213. This prophecy spread throughout Britain, even to France. King John had him imprisoned and when the forecasted day came and went, had him "dragged by horses to Wareham and there hanged with his son. " [4]

Early History of the Wakeferd family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wakeferd research. Another 88 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1375, 1665, 1537 and 1575 are included under the topic Early Wakeferd History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wakeferd Spelling Variations

Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Wakeferd include Wakefield, Wakefeild and others.

Early Notables of the Wakeferd family (pre 1700)

Another 37 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wakeferd Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Wakeferd family

Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Wakeferd were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: Thomas Wakefield settled in Virginia in 1635; Anne Wakefield settled in Massachusetts with her husband in 1638; John Wakefeild settled in Virginia in 1635.

The Wakeferd Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Arudua vinco
Motto Translation: I conquer difficulties.

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print on Facebook