Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Alford Name
Origins of Alford:
The surname of Alford is said to be one of the oldest locational surnames in existence. When a surname is locational, this means that it was often taken by the Lord or owner of the land from which the name derives. Others who may have take a locational surname are people who have migrated out of the area to seek out work. The easiest way to identify someone who was a stranger at that time was by the name of their birthplace. In the case of the surname of Alford, those who are known by this surname most likely hailed from one of the villages that was such named. The villages that were named Alford can be found within the counties of Surrey, Somerset, and Lincolnshire areas within the country of England. This surname of Alford is said to be translated to mean “the ford by the temple,” and thus was used to denote a place where there was acceptable pagan worship. The second possible meaning of the surname of Alford is that it was a topographical surname. This means that this surname was given to someone who lived on or near a man-made or natural structure. This structure would have been a notable landmark or area within a town or village, thus making it distinguishable to those who hailed from this area. In the case of the surname of Alford, the area to which the surname was describing would have been a “ford by the alder trees.”
More common variations are: Alforth, Allford, Aleford, Aleford, Aulford, Alfford, Alforde, Aliford, Alaford, Alfoerd, Alfeord
The first recorded spelling of the surname of Alford can be traced to the country of England. One person by the name of Robert de Aldeford was mentioned in the Annales Cestrienses Rolls of Lancashire and Cheshire, in the year of 1184. It is important to note that the Annales Cestrienses Rolls of Lancashire and Cheshire are also known as the Chronicle of the Abbey of S. Werburg at Chester, meaning that they held the documents that were relevant for the Abbey of S. Werburg within this time period. This document was published in the year 1879, but the record of the surname of Alford was in the year of 1184. This document was ordered, decreed, and written under the reign of one King Henry II, who was known throughout the ages as one “The Builder of Churches.” King Henry II of England ruled from the year 1154 to the year 1189. Other mentions of the surname of Alford can be found in England, as John de Aldeforde who was mentioned in the Hundred Rolls of Somerset in the year of 1273. Those who are known by the surname of Alford in the country of England can be found in the areas of County Cornwall, County Somerset, County Hampshire, County Middlesex, County Gloucestershire, County Wiltshire, and within the County of Devon. There is also sizeable population of people who bear the surname of Alford in the areas in and around the city of London.
Within the country of Scotland, those who carry the surname of Alford can be found in the counties of Lanarkshire, Fife, Ayrshire, and within the county of Stirlingshire.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Alford: United States 35,792; England 3,442; Australia 1,944; Canada 881; South Africa 694; Germany 504; Philippines 451; Wales 429; Colombia 419; Scotland 210
Clarence “Dean” Alford who was born in the year 1953 and who is a politician and businessman from America
Jason “Jay” Jamaal Alford who was born in the year 1983 and who is a football player from America who plays the position of defensive tackle
William P. Alford who was born in the year 1948 and who is a legal scholar for the United States
Chalmers “Spanky” Edward Alford (1955-2008) who was a jazz guitarist from America who was awarded three Grammys
Stephen Todd Alford who was born in the year 1964 and who is a basketball player from America who is now retired
William “Red” Robert Alford (1937-2003) who was a mathematician from America
Marianne Margaret Alford (1817-1888) who was born Viscountess Alford and who was an artist and an author and art patrol from England
John Alford who was born in the year 1941 and who is a cricketer from England
John Alford who was born in the year 1971 and who is an English actor who was born in Scotland
Alford Coat of Arms Meaning
The three main devices (symbols) in the Alford blazon are the pear, chief and boar’s head. The two main tinctures (colors) are or and gules.
Or is the heraldic metal Gold, often shown as a bold, bright yellow colour. It is said to show “Generosity and elevation of the mind” . Later heralds, of a more poetic nature liked to refer to it as Topaz, after the gemstone, and, for obvious reasons associated it with the Sun . In drawings without colour it is usually represented by many small dots, or by the letter ‘O’ .
Red in heraldry is given the name Gules, sometimes said to be the “martyr’s colour”. The colour is also associated with Mars, the red planet, and the zodiacal sign Aries . Later heralds of a more poetical nature would sometimes refer to the colour as ruby, after the precious stone..
Given the martial nature of the origins of Heraldry, in the identification of knights and men-at-arms it can come as no surprise that mediaeval weaponry of all types are frequently to be found in a coat of arms . The spear or lance is a typical example, often borne (for obvious reasons) in allusion to the crucifixtion. Sometimes only the head is shown, and on other occasions the tilting or tournament spear is specified, familiar to us from many a jousting scene in the movies.
The chief is an area across the top of the field . It appears in many different forms and can itself be charged with other charges and ordinaries, , being treated almost as if it were a completely separate area. In its simplest form it can be clearly identified. Early examples include the award by Henry III of England to the knight Robert de MORTEYN BRETON of Ermine, a chief gules.
In the middle ages, the wild boar, a far more fearsome creature than its domesticated relative, the pig was a much more commonly seen animal than today. It was also known as a sanglier. It can appear in many of the same poses that we see for the lion, but has its own (easily imagined!) position known as enraged! We should not be surprised then that this “fierce combatant” is said to be associated with the warrior.