Last name: Stanford

This long-established surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from any of the various places chiefly situated in the south of England, for example in Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Hertfordshire, Kent and Essex, so called from the Olde English pre 7th Century "stan", stone, and "ford", ford; hence, "stony ford". There is also a Stanford north east of Brandon in Norfolk; near Loughborough in Nottinghamshire; in the vicinity of Worcester, and in Northamptonshire. The above places were variously recorded as "Stanford" and "Stanforda" in the Domesday Book of 1086 for the counties mentioned. Locational surnames were originally given to local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. Early examples of the surname include: Symon de Stanford (Huntingdonshire, 1275), and Florentia de Stanforde (Somerset, 1327). Sir William Stanford or Staunford (1509 - 1558), judge, was appointed justice of common pleas in 1555, and knighted the same year. One of the earliest namebearers to settle in America was Richard Stanford, aged 25 yrs., who embarked from London on the ship "Primrose" bound for Virginia in July 1635. A Coat of Arms granted to the Stanford family of Staffordshire is described thus: argent, three bars azure on a canton or, a fess, in chief three mascles sable. The canton is believed to have been granted by Henry V111. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam de Stanford, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire", 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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