The Welsford surname and its variations are habitation names that have been taken on from various place names in Berkshire, Gloucestershire
, Northhantsford, and elsewhere. These place names are generally derived from the Old English "welig," meaning "willow," or "well," denoting "a spring," combined with "ford."
Early Origins of the Welsford family
The surname Welsford was first found in Berkshire where they held a family seat
as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy
, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron
, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England
to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book
Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant
of the lands of Welford which was held by the Abingdon Abbey and was recorded in the Domesday Book
census of 1086.
Early History of the Welsford family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Welsford research.Another 171 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1190 and 1461 are included under the topic Early Welsford History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Welsford Spelling Variations
of this family name include: Welford, Wellford, Welsford, Wellsford and others.
Early Notables of the Welsford family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Welsford Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Welsford family to the New World and Oceana
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
Welsford Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Joseph Welsford, whose oath of Allegiance was recorded in Philadelphia in 1849
Welsford Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
- Samuel Welsford, who settled in Prince Edward Island in 1825
- Thomas Welsford, who was recorded in the 1871 census of Ontario, Canada