This interesting and unusual surname, with variant spellings Afferon, Afron, Ufron, Offrin, Offring etc., is of English locational origin from a now lost place, originally believed to have been in Wiltshire. The prime cause of the "lost" village phenomenon was the enforced "clearing" and dispersal of the former inhabitants to make way for sheep pastures at the height of the wool trade in the 14th Century, along with natural causes such as the Black Death of 1348. The component elements of the placename are the old English pre 7th Century personal name Offa, plus the Old English "hring", ring or circle, probably used in this instance of a circular enclosure or settlement; hence, "Offa's hring". The surname first appears on record in the latter part of the 13th Century, (see below). The forms Ufron, Affron etc., result from regional and dialectal differences producing variations in the spelling of the name. On November 11th 1725 Richard Ufron and Elizabeth Routlidge were married in Acomb, Yorkshire and on October 17th 1831 John Affron married an Ann Whitehouse in Tipton, Staffordshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Offringe, which was dated 1273, "The Hundred Rolls of Wiltshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, "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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