From British French to Swedish Latin – The Alfort name over the centuries
There are five different branches of the Alfort family who have kept a version of the family name, but they each use a different form of it: Alfort, Ahlfort, Ahlforth, Alford and Ahlforn. This chapter looks at how this came about, and why there are so many different versions of the name.
In Chapter 1 the assumption was made that the Alfort family name has its roots in France and is somehow connected to the name of the Parisian suburb Maisons-Alfort, though the exact relation between them is uncertain. The reason for this belief is the existence of a family tradition according to which the origins of the family are to be sought in huguenot France.
This is by no means a certainty, however. The first known member of the family came from England, from whence he emigrated to Sweden in the middle of the 17th century, and in Britain there are several families who call themselves Alfort and Alford, so in principle he could just have belonged to one of those families. The Alfords are thought to derive their name from a British place name in Lincolnshire, while the British Alforts may have gotten theirs from Maisons-Alfort or from a British place name, or very likely they may even represent two different families with different origins.
Today, there are five surviving branches of the family descending from that original immigrant to Sweden, each with its own distinct form of the name: Alfort, Ahlfort, Ahlforth, Alford and Ahlforn. This is a pure coincidence as the forms Ahlfort and Alfort were both in more general use across the branches in earlier generations along with many other variants and might both easily have survived in several branches, but it reflects the developments that have changed the name through the centuries.
icon-arrow-right The next section ”From English to Swedish” is about the development of the name in the early generations after the immigration to Sweden.