Willfoorthy History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The name Willfoorthy was brought to England by the Normans when they conquered the country in 1066. The ancestors of the Willfoorthy 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 Willfoorthy family
The surname Willfoorthy 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 Willfoorthy family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Willfoorthy 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 Willfoorthy History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Willfoorthy Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Willfoorthy are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Willfoorthy include Wilfoord, Williford, Wilfort, Wilford and others.
Early Notables of the Willfoorthy 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 Willfoorthy Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Willfoorthy family
Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Willfoorthy, 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..
- 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