Tagliaferri Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History


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Tagliaferri Surname Name Meaning, History & Etymology

Tagliaferri Name Meaning. Italian: patronymic or plural form of Tagliaferro. This surname is widespread in Italy, being most common in Lombardy, Tuscany, and Campania.

English: variant of Telfer. Americanized form of the Italian family name Taliaferro (cognate with 1), from tagliare ‘to cut’ + ferro ‘iron’, probably applied as a nickname for a metal worker or a fierce fighter. (Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press) The Taliaferros (originally Tagliaferro, which means “ironcutter” in Italian) are one of the early families who settled in Virginia in the 17th century. They migrated from London, where an ancestor had served as a musician in the court of Queen Elizabeth I. The surname in that line is believed to trace back to Bartholomew Taliaferro, a native of Venice who settled in London and was made a denizen in 1562. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taliaferro)

Spelling Variations

Telfer, Talfer, Telford, Telpher, Talifero, Tallyefer, Telfair, Talliaferro, Tagliaferro, Tellifero, Taliferro, Tolliver or Toliver and many more.

Early Bearers of the Surname

Some of the first settlers of this name or some of its variants were: John Telfer who settled in Philadelphia in 1856; John Telford who settled in Virginia in 1774; Edmund and Matthew Telfair who settled in New York in 1820; and Mary Telford who settled in Charles Town S.

Tagliaferri Surname General History

There is a legend of this surname according to the “Johnson and Fisher Family” (https://johnsonfamily.talldude.net/bartholomew-taliaferro-228/genstory/68/bartolomeo-taliaferro-possible-origins) the legend goes like this:

This legend tells us that in the Cavalry of William the Conqueror, during the time of the invasion of England in 1066, was a Norman Knight that had great fighting ability. He would ride into battle singing songs of Roland and Charlemagne, all the while he would be tossing his large sword high in the air and then catch it as it came back down, while riding at full speed.

It is said that this Norman Knight had such great strength that he could, with one blow cut through the iron Armour of his adversary and that his sword would then cut through the man. He became the hero of Hastings and for his service to William the Conqueror he was given large land grants in the County Kent (England) which descended to his posterity.

As a result of his fighting ability with the sword, this Norman Knight became known as “TALIFER” – “TAILFER” – “TALIAFERRO.” (Found spelled several ways). Taken from the two Latin words: “TALIA” meaning to cut, and “FERO” (or FERRUM) meaning iron. Thus, the name Taliaferro, as it later came to be spelled in England means “Cutter of Iron” or “Iron Cutter.”

We do not know at what point in history the name came to be spelled “Taliaferro”. We do know that the family, the descendants of the Norman Knight called “Talifer”, became deep seated in England, and that as time went by the name was anglicized, and that the pronunciation was changed from “Talia-Ferro” to that of “Toliver”, with the spelling of “Taliaferro” being retained. Thus even before the name reached America it was spelled as Taliaferro but pronounced Toliver.

ROYAL CONNECTIONS: From the first Taliaferro (the Norman Knight) in England as early as 1066 there followed many descendants. One of these was Ayer de Taliaferro, Lord of Angouleme, who married Lady Alice de Courtney, and their daughter, Isabel de Taliaferro, became the wife of King John of England, about 1200. By other marriages the Taliaferro family became united with Royal families of Scotland, Italy, Peter the 2nd of Constantinople, and others. “

Most, if not all, Tollivers in North America are descended from Robert Taliaferro who immigrated to Virginia from England in 1647. ( http://the-red-thread.net/genealogy/ ) Robert Taliaferro the son of Francis Taliaferro (1589-1647) and Bennett Grymes (1587-1642) was Born: November 11, 1626 Bethnal Green, Stephney, Middlesex, Eng,Christened: November 19, 1626, St. Dunstan, Stepney Parish, Middlesex, England. Robert immigrated to VA by 1647, and lived twenty years in Gloucester County, his lands lying along Poropotank Creek and evidently at the head of Ware River, until, in 1666/7, when he moved to the place that came to be called “Taliaferro’s Mount” on the Rappahannock River in Old Rappahannock/Essex/Caroline County, near the site of the present town of Port Royal. With his wife Katherine Debnam whom he married in 1654, he became the founder of a significant Virginia family. Robert Taliaferro and Katherine (Debman) Taliaferro were the parents of: Robert Taliaferro, II.; Francis Taliaferro, I.; Lt. Col. John “The Ranger” Taliaferro Sr.; Mary (Taliaferro) Johnson; Richard Taliaferro Sr.(The Pirate); Katherine (Taliaferro) Battaile and Charles Taliaferro Sr. (Bio from: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/12889015)



  • Adam Taliaferro, college football player severely injured during a game
  • Al Taliaferro, comic-strip artist
  • Benjamin Taliaferro, early 19th-century U.S. Representative from Georgia
  • Charles Taliaferro, philosopher
  • Chris Taliaferro, Chicago alderman
  • Edith Taliaferro, actress
  • George Taliaferro, NFL player
  • Hardin E. Taliaferro, humorist and Baptist preacher
  • James Taliaferro, early 20th-century U.S. Senator from Florida
  • John Taliaferro, antebellum U.S. Representative from Virginia
  • Lawrence Taliaferro, United States frontier agent
  • Lorenzo Taliaferro, former running back for the Baltimore Ravens
  • Mabel Taliaferro, actress
  • Ray Taliaferro, radio host
  • Richard Taliaferro, colonial architect in Williamsburg, Virginia
  • R. Catesby Taliaferro, philosopher and mathematician
  • Walter R. Taliaferro, pioneer U.S. Army aviator
  • William B. Taliaferro, Confederate States of America general


  • Kay Toliver, teacher
  • Charles H. Toliver, airship builder


  • Anthony Tolliver, basketball player
  • Billy Joe Tolliver, football player
  • Charles Tolliver, musician and composer
  • Lisa Tolliver, American academic-practitioner and media personality
  • Melba Tolliver, journalist
  • Mose Tolliver, primitive artist
  • Randle Tolliver,Naval Officer


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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) Padova – Veneto – Braccio destro armato uscente da sinistra impugnante con la mano di carnagione una spada posta in banda nell’atto di colpire un elmo al centro posto di profilo al naturale sull’argento del troncato di argento e – sbarrato di argento e di rosso. Source: Marinato
2) Regno di Due Sicilie – Di verde alla fascia, accompagnata da tre stelle di otto raggi; due nel capo in fascia, ed una in punta. Source: Carlo Padiglione, Trenta centurie di armi gentilizie (1914).
3) Piemonte – Di rosso a tre fasce di verde; alla banda sul tutto d’oro. Source: Scorza’s Volume 24.
4) Sicilia – D’azzurro alla banda ondata accompagnata da tre stelle d’oro. Source: Scorza’s Volume 24.
5) Toliver – Scottish – Ermine a red chevron. Crest: A tree emerging from a crown. Source: Unverified.

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