Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Guilford Name
Origins of Guilford:
Listed as Guildford, Guilford, Guldford, and Guldforde, this is a surname of Olde English pre 7th-century sources. It acquires either from the city of Guildford in Surrey or from the settlement at a fort where golden flowers grew. The evolution is from the old words gylde, which means gold, and forda, which means not a deep river crossing. There is a belief in the city of Guildford that at some time even before the 1066 Norman invasion, the area was famous for its wild Marigolds. The place name was first listed in the successful records famous as the Anglo-Saxon Records, as early as the year 880 A.D, where it shows as “Gyldeford” and in the Domesday Book two centuries later as Geldeford or Guldeford. Like most geographical surnames the first documentation are many years after the place name itself and frequently given, as in this situation, either to the king of the palace, or as recognition to a person after he or she departed from their real home, and shifted elsewhere. Recordings derived from early parish records contain as Zachariah Gillford, who baptized at St. Dunstans in the East, Stepney, in 1658, and Thomas Gulliford at St. Botolphs without Aldgate, City of London, in 1684.
More common variations are: Guillford, Guiliford, Gulford, Guilliford, Guliford, Quilford, Gailford, Gullford, Guwlford, Guelford.
The surname Guilford first appeared in Kent at Guildford, a district town that is sometimes dated back to Saxon times near the year 880 when it first noted as Gyldeforda. About 978 or so, it was home to a new English Royal Mint. By the Domesday Book of 1086, the town’s name was changed to Gildeford and was held by William, the invader. Guildford palace was considered having been built shortly after the 1066 conquest of England by William, the invader. As the palace not noted in the Domesday Book, it was frequently considered having been built after 1086. Over the years, the palace has gone through many hands and is today held by the Guildford Corporation. It’s necessary for ruins, but the gardens are a very famous visitor site. The keep now consists of a visitor center, open between April and September.
The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of Sir John de Guldeford, dated about 1250, in the “rolls of heraldry” known as the “Parliamentary roll.” It was during the time of King Edward II who was known to be the “Edward of Carnafon,” dated 1377-1399. The origin of surnames during this period became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation. It came to be known as Poll Tax in England.
Many of the people with surname Guilford had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.
United States of America:
Individuals with the surname Guilford settled in the United States in two different centuries respectively in the 17th, and 19th. Some of the individuals with the name Guilford who landed in the United States in the 17th century included Margaret Guilford, who arrived in Maryland in 1661.
The following century saw many more Guilford surnames arrive. Some of the population with the name Guilford who arrived in the United States in the 19th century included Samuel Guilford settled in Philadelphia in 1851.
People with the surname Guilford who settled in Australia in the 19th century included John Guilford, an English prisoner from Lancaster, who shifted aboard the “Agarnernnon” in April 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia
Here is the population distribution of the last name Guilford: United States 3,203; New Zealand 230; England 220; Canada 98; Australia 74; Trinidad and Tobago 17; Guyana 11; Bahrain 3; South Africa 3; Hong Kong 2.
J. P. Guilford (1897–1988), was an American psychologist.
Lord Guilford Dudley (1536–1554), was the husband of Lady Jane Grey.
Jane Guildford (1500s–1555), was a ruler of Northumberland and mother of King Guilford Dudley.
Zac Guildford (born 1989), is a New Zealand rugby player.
Guilford Coat of Arms Meaning
The four main devices (symbols) in the Guilford blazon are the fleur-de-lis, lion, pomegranate and marlet. The four main tinctures (colors) are argent, azure, sable and or.
Argent is the heraldic metal Silver and is usually shown as very pure white. It is also known more poetically as pearl, moon (or luna) . In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper .
Azure is the heraldic colour blue, usually quite a deep, dark shade of the colour (there is a lighter blue that sometimes occurs, known as celestial azure). If colour printing is not available then it can be represented by closely spaced horizontal lines in a scheme known as “hatching” . The word is thought to originate from the Arabic lazura and it represents the colour of the eastern sky. It is also said to be the colour associated by the Catholic Church with the Virgin Mary and hence of particular significance .
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 .
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’ .
The fleur-de-lys (“flower of the lily”) has a long and noble history and was a symbol associated with the royalty of France even before heraldry became widespread. . The Lily flower is said to represent “Purity, or whiteness of soul” and sometimes associated with the Virgin Mary. The fleur-de-lys is also used as a small “badge”, known as a mark of cadency to show that the holder is the sixth son of the present holder of the arms
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.
Many items found in the natural world occur in coats of arms, including many plants that people of the middle ages would be familiar with. Several varities of bush and small plants frequently found in the hedgerows beside fields can be observed , in addition to the famous thistle of Scotland . The pomegranate is a an example of such a plant, instantly recognisable to those in the mediaeval period and still a proud symbol today.