This name is probably a dialectal variation of "Blackford", a place near Sherborne and also Wedmore in Somerset. The former place-name was recorded as "Blacheford", in the Domesday Book (1086) and "Blakeford" in the Hundred Rolls (1276), with the latter listed as "Blacford" and "Blakeford" in the Charter Rolls of 1227 and 1257, respectively. The placename literally means "the Black Ford" from the old English "bloec", black, dark and "ford", a ford; hence, we get someone who lived by a ford which was probably surrounded by trees or some other shelter. The surname itself dates from the early 13th Century, (see below). A Roger de Blakeforde is listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex (1296). Richard atte Blakeforde is recorded in Studies on Middle English local surnames for the year 1314. John Blackford was a soldier under Captain Thomas Listun in Colonel Bayley's Regiment of foot on January 6th 1679 in Barbados, the new World. Elizabeth Blachford married Anthonie Webber on December 16th 1624 at St. Gregory by St. Paul's, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Blakeford, which was dated 1211, Curia Rolls of Hampshire, during the reign of King John, "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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