Stafford Family History
The ancient origin of the name Stafford was found in the irishsurnames.com archives. The name Stafford is of locational origin from the town in County Staffordshire. This name is of Anglo-Norman descent spreading to the Celtic countries of Ireland, Scotland and Wales in early times and is found in many mediaeval manuscripts. Examples of such are a Martin de Stafford of County Suffolk and a Ranulf de Stafford of County Salop who were recorded in the 'Hundred Rolls', England, in the year 1273. In Ireland this family settled in County Wexford shortly after the twelfth century Anglo-Norman invasion. Their principal seats were Ballymacarne and Ballyconnor. They figure in every account of the leading gentry from the years 1345 to 1878. In Ulster Province the Gaelic Mac an Stocaire sept anglicized their name as Stafford as well as McStocker. Other Staffords in Ulster are of later immigrant origin.
The Stafford family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Stafford descendants.