Willeford History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Willeford is a name that was carried to England in the great wave of migration from Normandy following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Willeford 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 Willeford family
The surname Willeford 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 Willeford family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Willeford 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 Willeford History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Willeford Spelling Variations
Before the last few hundred years the English language had no fixed system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations occurred commonly in Anglo Norman surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Willeford were recorded, including Wilfoord, Williford, Wilfort, Wilford and others.
Early Notables of the Willeford 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 Willeford Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Willeford migration to the United States +
The unstable environment in England at this time caused numerous families to board ships and leave in search of opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad in places like Ireland, Australia, and particularly the New World. The voyage was extremely difficult, however, and only taken at great expense. The cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels caused many to arrive diseased and starving, not to mention destitute from the enormous cost. Still opportunity in the emerging nations of Canada and the United States was far greater than at home and many went on to make important contributions to the cultures of their adopted countries. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Willeford arrived in North America very early:
Willeford Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- William Willeford, who landed in Virginia in 1638 
Contemporary Notables of the name Willeford (post 1700) +
- Charles Ray Willeford III (1919-1988), American novelist, best known for his series of novels featuring detective Hoke Moseley and the film adaption of three of his novels: Cockfighter, Miami Blues, and The Woman Chaser
- Thomas Dean Willeford V (b. 1964), American steampunk writer, artist, and maker
- Pamela Pitzer Willeford (1950-2003), United States Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein between 2003 and 2006
- Pamela P. Willeford, American politician, U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland, 2003-06; Liechtenstein, 2003-06 
- George Willeford, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Texas, 1972 
Related Stories +
- ^ 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
- ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
- ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 12) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html