The name Wileforth reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Wileforth family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest
of 1066. The Wileforth 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 Wileforth family
The surname Wileforth 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 CITATION[CLOSE]
Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
and literally meant "willow-tree ford," from the Old English words "wilig" + "ford." CITATION[CLOSE]
Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
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. CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
Early History of the Wileforth family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wileforth research.Another 113 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 145 and 1450 are included under the topic Early Wileforth History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Wileforth 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 Wileforth include Wilfoord, Williford, Wilfort, Wilford and others.
Early Notables of the Wileforth family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Wileforth Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Wileforth family to the New World and Oceana
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 Wileforths 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..