Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Elford Name
Origins of Elford:
This unusual surname of English origin is a geographical name from a place so called, acquiring either from the Old English pre 7th Century particular name Ella, a short form of the many combined names with a first element “oelf” which means “elf” and “Ford” which means”fort”, or, from the Old English pre 7th Century “alor”, “elre” which means “alder tree” and “Ford”. There is a place of this name in Staffordshire and another in Northumberland but the surname is now mainly in Devonshire. The placename was listed as Eleford in the Domesday Book of 1086. The surname records back to the mid-16th Century. Differences in the phrase of the spelling contain Ilford, Ellford, Elforde, Eillford, etc.. One, Edmond Ilford, son of John and Joan, named in March 1575, at St. Mary Abbot’s, Kensington. Elizabeth Elford was named at St. Botolph without Aldgate in June 1594, and Robert Elford married Elizabeth Rashbrooke in September 1607 at St. Peter’s, Paul’s Wharf, London, during the rule of King James I of England and Scotland, 1603 – 1625. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced taxation. In England, this known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to “develop” often leading to surprising alternatives of the original spelling.
More common variations are: Ellord, Eleford, Eliford, Elaford, Whelford, Elleford, Elifford, Alford, Olford.
The surname Elford first appeared in Northumberland at Elford, which records back to at least 1256 when it was noted as Eleford and had two possible origins as having acquired from the Old English particular name Ella or Ellen and Ford as in “ford of a man called Ella” and “fort where elder-trees grow.” Elford is also a hamlet and local church in Lichfield District of Staffordshire that records back to 1002 when it noted as Elleford and later recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Eleford. While this next hamlet is older, the Northumberland village is, where the first recordings of the name appeared.
Many of the people with surname Elford had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.
United States of America:
Individuals with the surname Elford landed in the United States in two different centuries respectively in the 18th, and 19th. Some of the people with the name Elford who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included John Elford, who arrived in Salem, Massachusetts in the year 1628. Richard Elford, who came to Jamaica in the year 1657. John Elford, who landed in Maryland in 1674. James Elford, who arrived in America in the year 1685.
The following century saw more Elford surnames come. Some of the people with the surname Elford who arrived in the United States in the 19th century included James M Elford, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in the year 1823.
People with the surname Elford who settled in Canada in the 18th century included James Elford who settled in St. John’s, Newfoundland, in the year 1757. Wills Terry Elford, who settled in Petty Harbour, Newfoundland in the year 1790.
Some of the individuals with the surname Elford who landed in Australia in the 19th century included Priscilla Elford at the age of 19, a seamstress, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship “Punjab.”
Here is the population distribution of the last name Elford: England 1,237; Australia 912; Canada 842; United States 668; South Africa 201; Wales 181; New Zealand 78; Sweden 65; Scotland 39; Ireland 27.
John Elford (FL. 1966–1976), was an Australian rugby league football player.
Keith A. Elford was the priest of the Free Methodist Church in Canada.
Richard Elford (c. 1677–1714), was an English musician and entertainer.
Shane Elford (born 1977) is an Australian rugby league player.
Vic Elford (born 1935) was an English sportscar racing, rallying, and Formula One driver.
Sir William Elford, 1st Baronet (1749–1837), was an English banker, and freshman artist.
Elford Coat of Arms Meaning
The four main devices (symbols) in the Elford blazon are the lion, fret, mullet and bend. The three main tinctures (colors) are gules, sable and or .
The bold red colour on a heraldic shield is known as gules. It has a long history within heraldry, it is known that one of those who besieged the scottish castle of Carlaverock in 1300 was the French knight Euremions de la Brette who had as his arms a simple red shield.. The word gules is thought to come from the Arabic gule, or “red rose” . Later writers associated it with the precious stone ruby and the metal iron , perhaps because of the red glow of iron in the heat of the blacksmith’s forge.
Sable, the deep black so often found in Heraldry is believed to named from an animal of the marten family know in the middle ages as a Sabellinœ and noted for its very black fur . In engravings, when colors cannot be shown it is represented as closely spaced horizontal and vertical lines, and appropriately is thus the darkest form of hatching, as this method is known . Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy .
The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.. Along with, argent, or silver it forms the two “metals” of heraldry – one of the guidelines of heraldic design is that silver objects should not be placed upon gold fields and vice versa . The yellow colour is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo..
The art of heraldry would be significantly poorer if we were without the lion in all its forms. Most general works on Heraldry devote at least one chapter solely to this magnificent creature and its multifarious depictions . Some of the earliest known examples of heraldry, dating right back to the knighting of Geoffrey of Anjou in 1127, where he is shown with six such beasts upon his shield .The great authority on heraldic symbology, Wade, points out the high place that the lion holds in heraldry, “as the emblem of deathless courage” , a sentiment echoed equally today.
The fret is a striking charge, often occupying the whole of the field and being two instersecting diagonal lines interlaced with the outline of a square. It is believed to be derived from the image of a fishing net, which it does indeed resemble, and hence Wade believes that it should signify persuasion, although other writers regard it separately as the “the heraldic true lovers knot”
The heraldic mullet, not to be confused with the fish of that name, is shown as a regular, five pointed star. This was originally, not an astronomical object, but represented the spur on a horseman’s boot, especially when peirced, with a small circular hole in the centre it represents a type of spur known as a “rowel” . A clear example can be found in the arms of Harpendene, argent, a mullet pierced gules. The ancient writer Guillim associated such spurs in gold as belonging to the Knight, and the silver to their esquires . In later years, Wade linked this five pointed star with the true celestial object, the estoile and termed it a “falling star”, symbolising a “divine quality bestowed from above” .