Randolphus de TRAFFORD


Arms of Trafford: Argent, a griffin segreant gules


Randolphus de TRAFFORD

Born more then 1000 years ago, A distant ancestor and a doorway into Saxon England.

Randolphus Was a Saxon Earl or Thane whose family seat was at Trafford, in the County Palatine of Lancaster, of which the family took their name, or gave their name.

The Trafford area has a long heritage, with evidence of Neolithic, Bronze Age, and Roman activity. Amongst the relics of the past are two castles. Many of the descendants of Randolphus were associated with the castles in this area.

The written history of the house of de Trafford begins as far back as the days of King Canute ‘Cnute the Great’ who lived between the years 995 – 1035, and was King of England for about 19 years.

Randolphus de Trafford was born around the year 1010, and although his parentage is unknown his ancestors were most likely of Saxon origin, the family flourished during these early year and owned many manors in Cheshire and Lancashire.

The de Trafford family had a 900 year unbroken line of male heirs, and my own family descend and join this branch in the year 1358, with the marriage of my 17th great grandparents John Booth Esq (1358 – 1422) and Joan Trafford (1358 – after 1402). Randolphus is a mind boggling 29th great grandfather.

I have a lot of interest in Saxon genealogy and their history, possibly more so then Norman branches of my tree. The reason being is that it roots me to England much further into the past, my mother’s DNA for example shows only 5% Great Britain, the reason being is possibly due to the Norman Conquest, which wiped out so much of our Saxon past. Her West Europe DNA is a staggering 59%, this would include many of my Norman ancestors.

 At the time of the Norman conquest, Cheshire was the last county to be subdued and the de Trafford of that time took up arms against the Normans and defeated Hamo de Massey at Tay Bridge, near Mobberley, Cheshire.

De Trafford afterwards made terms with the Earl of Chester that he should keep his lands and possessions on condition that he did not again fight against the Normans and so, through all the mutilations of civil strife, wars or insurrections, the de Traffords have kept true to their motto “Grip Griffin hold fast” and have kept their lands.

The de Trafford family is a doorway into Saxon England, and my/our Saxon heritage is something im very proud off.


Nested bracelet from the Silverdale Hoard. Image by Ian Richardson


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