When the ancestors of the Willeferd family emigrated to England
following the Norman Conquest
in 1066 they brought their family name with them. They 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 Willeferd family
The surname Willeferd 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 Willeferd family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Willeferd research.Another 113 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 145 and 1450 are included under the topic Early Willeferd History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Willeferd Spelling Variations
The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations
are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Willeferd has been recorded under many different variations, including Wilfoord, Williford, Wilfort, Wilford and others.
Early Notables of the Willeferd family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Willeferd Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Willeferd family to the New World and Oceana
To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England
, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Willeferds were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America: 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..