England by the ancestors of the Willfoeard family when they migrated to the region after the Norman Conquest in 1066. The Willfoeard 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 Willfoeard family
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 Willfoeard family
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Willfoeard Spelling Variations
Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Wilfoord, Williford, Wilfort, Wilford and others.
Early Notables of the Willfoeard family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Willfoeard family to the New World and Oceana
Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Willfoeard 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..
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