The history of the Willefith family name begins after the Norman Conquest
of 1066. 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 Willefith family
The surname Willefith 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 Willefith family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Willefith research.Another 57 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 145 and 1450 are included under the topic Early Willefith History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Willefith Spelling Variations
Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations
were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Willefith family name include Wilfoord, Williford, Wilfort, Wilford and others.
Early Notables of the Willefith family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Willefith Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Willefith family to the New World and Oceana
To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Willefith family to immigrate 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..