Curiously recorded in the spellings of Axeford, Axford, and Oxford, this is an English locational surname which originates from the places called Axford, in the counties of Wiltshire and Hampshire. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th century elements "aesce" meaning ash trees, and "forda", a shallow river crossing, with a sound base. The unusual feature of the name is in the spelling as "Oxford", which one would assume implied that the nameholder originated from the city of Oxford. This can be the case, and usually is for people born in Oxfordshire, but confusion arises because the Oxfords of Oxford were originally called "Oxenford", the city of Oxford being recorded as "Oxnaford" in the famous Anglo-Saxon Chronicles of the year 912 a.d. Most people called Oxford, at least those born in Hampshire or Wiltshire come, like the Axfords, from Axford, the "O" instead of "A" suffix being as a result of 16th century dialect, and poor spelling. Early examples of the surname recordings include Agnes Oxford, christened at Romsey, Hampshire, on November 28th 1590, and William Axford, who married Mary Colbourne at Lacock, Wilstshire, on August 2nd 1596. The first surname recording may be that of Robert Axford, who married Maragaret Aldridge, at Bratton, Wiltshire, on January 18th 1584. This was during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st, 1558 - 1603.
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