The Origins of the Huxford Family

-compiled by Philip Gerrard

March 2002

The Huxford name is of English origin, and although there are records of many persons with that name in Devon and Hampshire Counties; as yet, there has been no connection made between them and the family from east coast Canada. The Huxford family first appears in Newfoundland and they were probably involved in the fishing industry there. The earliest reference found to date is for Henry Huxford, who was listed as one of the constables for the District of Placentia in 1732. That area of jurisdiction is described as being, "from Cape Pine to Placentia and the western side of that bay." The places included within that District are noted as, "St. Mary's, Placentia [and] Petty Placentia." This information is from the list of "Persons Appointed to Administer Justice in the Several Districts of Newfoundland in 1732," which was enclosed in "Capt. Falkingham's Report, Oct. 4, 1732." It has not been confirmed whether Henry is connected with the Huxford line of this family.

The earliest Huxford who can positively be identified as a family member is Ann Huxford, who married William Gerrard at Christchurch in Hampshire, England on April 3rd 1754. Sometime later, prior to 1785 (the date of their daughter, Nancy Ann's, marriage at St. Paul's Church in Halifax), Ann and William come to Nova Scotia to take up residence on Gerrards Island. Ann is thought to have had a brother, Tom (Thomas) who was involved in the maritime trade in Newfoundland, and later moved to Boston. After the death of her husband, William, on September 4th 1789, Ann is suspected to have moved to Boston to take up residence with her brother.

Two years after Ann and William had been married in England, there is a reference to a Mary Huxford (of Placentia Bay, Newfoundland) marrying James Ayles on September 30th 1756 at Placentia Bay. James Ayles had emigrated form Hampshire, England to Newfoundland in 1750. It is possible that Mary was a daughter of the earlier Henry Huxford, but once again it is unclear whether they are members of this family.