Pettiford Family History
Spiritual pioneer of the 20th century.
Founder of God's House Church Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Nansemond Indian Tribe
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The name Pettiford comes from the ancient Norman culture that was established in Britain after the Conquest of 1066. It was a name for a person who never tired of walking or a soldier who had lost his foot in battle. The name Pettiford is an Anglicized form of the Old French word pedefer, or pied de fer, which means iron foot. The family name Pettiford was brought to England after the Norman Conquest, when William the Conqueror gave his friends and relatives most of the land formerly owned by Anglo-Saxon aristocrats. They imported a vast number of Norman French personal names, which largely replaced traditional Old English personal names among the upper and middle classes.
Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Pettifer, Pettipher, Petipher, Petifer, Petiver and many more.
First found in Worcestershire where, they were seated after the Norman Conquest by William the Conqueror in 1066 A.D., where the name meant literally "Petite" and "Fere," meaning "the little wild beast," a soubriquet which has been corrupted to Pettifer, although a distant relationship has been claimed to Potiphar, the Faro's Captain of the Guard.