Recorded as Pigford and Piggford, this unusual surname has two possible interpretations. Firstly, it may be of topographical origin for a dweller by the ford where pigs used to cross, or were watered, from the Middle English word "pigge", a pig, and the Olde English element "ford", a shallow river crossing or there may have been a "lost" medieval village, named with these elements. The name is popular in the Manchester region, but is not recorded there before the 17th Century. Pig(g)ford may also be a variant of "Pickford", from a place called Pickforde in Ticehurst, Sussex, which also means "pig ford".In both of these cases, the initial element may also derive from an Olde English personal name "Pica", also found in Pigdon in Northumberland. Early recordings of the surname include Thomas Pikeford mentioned in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in 1332; and the christening of Susannah, daughter of Walter and Sarah Pigford on October 6th 1672 at St. Andrew's, Holborn, London. Grace Pigford married Robert Clayton on February 25th 1687 at Stockport in Cheshire, while John Piggford married Sarah Brown at Tamworth, in Staffordshire on November 8th 1773. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alcock de Pykeford, which was dated 1288, witness in the "Assize Court Rolls of Cheshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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