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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

Or, three bars dancettée sa.

Origin, Meaning, Family History and Shelford Coat of Arms and Family Crest

Surname, meaning, origin and etymology
The etymology of the name Shelford reveals that it is a toponymic surname with the name deriving its origin from places known as “Shelford” in the counties of Cambridgeshire and Nottinghamshire. The name is of Anglo-Saxon origin. The literal meaning of the surname refers to “the ford at the shallow place” in the Olde pre 7th century English. The word “Shel” was derived from “sceldo” meaning shallowness or a shallow place and the word “ford” referring to ford. This toponymic name, like all other toponymic names, was usually given to lord of the manor or dwellers of a certain settlement renowned by the name to assist in identification of individuals with reference to their hometowns. One of the coat of arms associated with the Shelford family takes the form of a gold shield with three black bars dancette.

Early Bearers of the surname
The spelling variations of the name include; Shelford, Shellford, Seelford, Selford, among others.  The first ever instance of spelling of “Shelford” surname being recorded goes back to the 16th century. The instance related to the marriage of a certain Reynold Shelford to Isbell Smith during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.  The christening and marriage of  a certain John Shelford to Jane Thompson on June 25th, 1607 was recorded at Basford, Nottinghamshire in London. Surnames became mandatory upon introduction of personal taxation laws by the government, thereby, necessitating it for every individual to be associated with a particular surname. This led to development of a plethora of distinctly spelled variants of the same surnames over the course of centuries.  One of the notables to have held this surname includes Leonard Shelford who was a legal writer and a barrister. His noteworthy works include “Real Property Statutes”, “Law and Railways” and “Law of Joint Stock Companies”.

Early American and New World Settlers
Following is a list of some of the people who migrated to the United States of America in the early 18th century; Edward Shelford whose arrival in the United States is date as far back as 1701. He landed in Virginia. There was also a Richard Shelford who settled in Virginia in 1714.

Shelford Coat of Arms Meaning

See glossary for symbol meaning.

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