Walingforth History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Walingforth family

The surname Walingforth was first found in Berkshire but now part of Oxfordshire at Wallingford, home to Wallingford Castle, a major medieval castle on the River Thames. Wallingford is a market town and civil parish which dates back to Saxon times when it was first recorded as Welingaforda c. 895. By the Domesday Book of 1086, the town's names had evolved to Walingeford. [1]

"At the time of the Norman invasion, Wigod, a powerful Saxon, had a castle at Wallingford, to which, after the battle of Hastings, he invited the victorious Monarch; the invitation was accepted, and at this place the Conqueror received the submission of Archbishop Stigand, and the principal barons, before he marched with his army to London. During his abode at this place, he celebrated the marriage of Robert D'Oyley, one of his favourite generals, with the only daughter of Wigod. About the year 1067, the King fearing that his new subjects might establish a garrison at Wallingford as they had already done at Oxford, commanded Robert D'Oyley to build a strong castle there ; this castle was frequently used as a State prison." [2]

The place name literally means "ford of a man called Wealh," from the Old English personal name + "inga" + "ford." [3]

Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of Wallingford, held by the Bishop of Salisbury, the Bishop of Winchester and William FitzCorbucion, a Norman noble who was recorded in the Domesday Book.

One of the first records of then name was John of Wallingford (died 1214), also known as John de Cella, Abbot of St Albans Abbey in Hertfordshire from 1195 to 1214. Before this position he was prior of Holy Trinity Priory at Wallingford in Berkshire, a cell of St Albans.

Another John of Wallingford (died 1258) was a Benedictine monk at the Abbey of St Albans, who served between c.1246 and his death in 1258. He is best remembered for his Chronica Joannis Wallingford. [4]

Wallingford Castle was originally a motte-and-bailey structure and grew to become one of the most powerful royal castles of the 12th and 13th centuries. Used by royalty and their immediate family for two centuries, it was abandoned as a royal residence by Henry VIII and fell into decline.

Early History of the Walingforth family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Walingforth research. Another 195 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1135, 1153, 1218, 1306, 1492, 1292, 1336, 1381 and 1488 are included under the topic Early Walingforth History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Walingforth 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 Wallingford, Walingford, Warringford, Waringford, Warengford, Wallingfort, Wallingforth, Walingforth, Warringforth, De Wallingford, De Wallingforth, Warrenford, Warrenforth, Warenforth, Wallingword, Walingword, Wallyngford, Walyngford and many more.

Early Notables of the Walingforth family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Richard of Wallingford (1292-1336), an English mathematician who made major contributions to astronomy/astrology and horology while serving as abbot of St Albans Abbey in Hertfordshire; and Richard of Wallingford, Constable of Wallingford Castle and landowner in St Albans who...
Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Walingforth Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Walingforth 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 Walingforth or a variant listed above: settlers were recorded from the mid 17th century in the great migration from Europe. Migrants settled in the eastern seaboard from Newfoundland, to Maine, to Florida, and to the islands..



  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ 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
  3. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  4. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print


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