Wayfer History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Wayfer is a name that was carried to England in the great wave of migration from Normandy following the Norman Conquest of 1066. It is a name for a "waferer, maker or seller of wafers or thin cakes. The waferers seem to have been chiefly concerned with the provision of the eucharistic bread but also sold sweet, spiced cakes, the ‘wafers piping hot.’ " [1]

Early Origins of the Wayfer family

The surname Wayfer was first found in Herefordshire where Simon le Wafre, le Wafrer was listed in the Feet of Fines for 1212. As an occupational name, early scattered entries of the family with a wide variety of spellings is to be expected. le Wafrer was found in Shropshire the Assize Rolls for 1221; le Wafre in the Assize Rolls for Warwickshire in 1222; and Ralph le Waverer in the Feet of Fines for Yorkshire c. 1227. In Warwickshire, Ricardus filius Waifier was found in the Pipe Rolls in 1180; and Richard Waifer was listed in the Feet of Fines for 1242. Later Ranus Wayfer was found in the Assize Rolls for Somerset in 1267. [1]

"This name occurs frequently in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries; and it is still borne by Hopton-Wafre in Shropshire, and Tedston-Wafre in Herefordshire. Robert le Wafre, in 1253, held Hopton in capite of the Earl of Hereford of the Honour of Brecknock; and Tedstone under John de Wildebouf of the same Honour; both of which were brought in marriage by his only child, Lucia, to a; younger son of Lord Mortimer of Wigmore. The obit of Alice, mother of the above-mentioned Robert, was annually celebrated in Hereford Cathedral. John le Wafre 20 Ed. I held two virgates of land at Marston by the service of conducting the treasure of our Lord the King from Hereford to London, as often as he should be summoned by the Sheriff, with one horse and an iron helmet, at the costs of the King, to wit, twelve pence a day towards London, and returning at his own proper costs." [2]

Early History of the Wayfer family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wayfer research. Another 86 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1455, 1487, 1640, 1705, 1695 and 1172 are included under the topic Early Wayfer History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wayfer Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Wayfer has been recorded under many different variations, including Wafer, Waffer, Waferer, Wafre, Wafrer, Wayfre, Wayfer, Wayferer, Wayford, Waford, Wauford and many more.

Early Notables of the Wayfer family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Lionel Wafer (1640-1705), a Welsh explorer, buccaneer and privateer; originally a ship's surgeon but joined Bartholomew Sharp, he later settled...
Another 27 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wayfer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Wayfer family to Ireland

Some of the Wayfer family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 67 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Wayfer family

To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Wayfers were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America: settlers who were recorded from the mid 17th century in the great migration from Europe. Migrants settled in the eastern seaboard from Newfoundland, to Maine, to Virginia, the Carolinas, and to the islands..



  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  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


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