The name Willefeard was carried to England
in the enormous movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest
of 1066. The Willefeard 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 Willefeard family
The surname Willefeard 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 Willefeard family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Willefeard research.Another 113 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 145 and 1450 are included under the topic Early Willefeard History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Willefeard Spelling Variations
Endless spelling variations
are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Wilfoord, Williford, Wilfort, Wilford and others.
Early Notables of the Willefeard family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Willefeard Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Willefeard family to the New World and Oceana
To escape the political and religious persecution within England
at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Willefeard or a variant listed above: 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..