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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The roots of the Anglo-Saxon name Wofford come from when the family resided in one of the settlements called Walford in Dorset, Herefordshire, or Shropshire, or in Walford Hall in Warwickshire. The surname Wofford belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

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The surname Wofford was first found in Herefordshire where they held a family seat from ancient times, from about the time of the Norman Conquest in 1066.

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Wofford has been recorded under many different variations, including Walford, Wallford and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wofford research. Another 308 words (22 lines of text) covering the year 1833 is included under the topic Early Wofford History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Wofford Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Wofford or a variant listed above:

Wofford Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Chas. P. Wofford, aged 36, who settled in America, in 1906
  • John W Wofford, aged 25, who landed in America, in 1919

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  • William T. Wofford (1824-1884), Confederate general during the American Civil War
  • Thomas A. Wofford (1908-1978), American politician, United States Senator from South Carolina
  • Mike Wofford (b. 1938), American jazz pianist
  • James Cunningham Wofford (b. 1944), American gold, silver and bronze medalist Olympic equestrian
  • Harris Llewellyn Wofford (b. 1926), American politician, U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania (1991 to 1995)
  • Dan Wofford, American politician


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  • The Homecoming: A Celebration of the Wofford, Lottie, And Brinker Families by Dorothy Wofford Withersponn
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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Nosce teipsum
Motto Translation: Know thyself.

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  1. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  2. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  3. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  4. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  5. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  6. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  7. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  8. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  9. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  10. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  11. ...

The Wofford Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Wofford Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 10 October 2015 at 20:25.

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