This interesting and noble name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is locational from Beresford in the parish of Alstonfield, north Staffordshire. The placename is derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century words "beofor", meaning beaver, plus "ford", meaning ford. The surname had clearly emerged by the 13th Century (see below). All namebearers are apparently descended from Thomas Beresford, who fought at Agincourt in 1415. An Irish branch of the family include the Marquess of Waterford, and was to inspire several entries in the "Dictionary of National Biography". Variant spellings of the name include Berresford, Berisford, Beresfore, Beresford and Berrisford. Among the recordings from Staffordshire Church Registers are the christening of George, son of Lawrence Beresfore, on April 22nd 1543, at Alstonfield, and the marriage of John Beresford and Anne Flucket on July 3rd 1609, at Alstonfield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de Beversford, which was dated 1220, in "Old Staffordshire Records", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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