Wayfre History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Wayfre reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Wayfre family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest in 1066. Wayfre 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 Wayfre family

The surname Wayfre 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 Wayfre family

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

Wayfre 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 Wafer, Waffer, Waferer, Wafre, Wafrer, Wayfre, Wayfer, Wayferer, Wayford, Waford, Wauford and many more.

Early Notables of the Wayfre 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 Wayfre Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Wayfre family to Ireland

Some of the Wayfre 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 Wayfre 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 Wayfre or a variant listed above: 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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