Wileford History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The name Wileford reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Wileford family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Wileford family lived in Nottinghamshire, at Wilford. This placename is derived from the name Norman-French name Will, a pet form of William and the word ford, meaning a river crossing, and indicates that the ford in question belonged to William.
Early Origins of the Wileford family
The surname Wileford was first found in Nottinghamshire at Wilford (also known as Wilfrids Ford) a parish and village in the union of Basford, in the north division of the wapentake of Rushcliffe.
The village dates back to at least the Domesday Book when it was listed as Wilesford  and literally meant "willow-tree ford," from the Old English words "wilig" + "ford."  At that time, the land was held William Peverel, a Norman Baron, who was granted the fishery in the district of Clifton. Wilford House was built by Henry Smith, Esq. in 1828. 
Saint Wilfrid or Wilfrith (634-709), was Bishop of York, the son of a Northumbrian thegn. "In his fourteenth year he was a handsome and well-mannered lad, fond of arms, horses, and fine clothes, but he was not happy, for he had an unkind stepmother, and he wished to enter a monastery. His father sent him to the court of Oswy [q. v.], where he pleased the queen, Eanflaed. After spending a year in Kent he left England in 653 in company with Benedict Biscop. " 
Wulfred (d. 832), was Archbishop of Canterbury and "first appears as Archdeacon under Archbishop Ethelhard. He had large estates in Kent, and was probably a Kentish man. " 
Early History of the Wileford family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wileford research. Another 57 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1450, 1418, 1414, 1414, 1413, 1395, 1397, 1397, 1404, 1411, 1479, 1499, 1479, 1516, 1550, 1516, 1499, 1507, 1516, 1544, 1545 and 1547 are included under the topic Early Wileford History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Wileford Spelling Variations
Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Wileford include Wilfoord, Williford, Wilfort, Wilford and others.
Early Notables of the Wileford family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Wilford (died 1418) English politician from Exeter, Devon who represented Exeter in April 1414 and November 1414. His brother, William Wilford (died 1413), was also an English politician for Exeter in 1395, January 1397, September 1397, January 1404 and 1411.
Ralph Wulford or Wilford (1479?-1499), was and English pretender, born about 1479, is described in 'Fabyan's Chronicle' as son of a cordwainer in London, and he was not improbably a member of the London and Kent family of Wilford. He was made to personate the Earl of Warwick, eldest son of Edward IV's...
Another 130 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wileford Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Wileford family
In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Wilefords to arrive on North American shores: Joseph and Hannah Wilford arrived in New England in 1766; Eleanor Wilford and her husband arrived in Maryland in 1733. Joh Wilfort arrived in Philadelphia in 1849..
- Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print