Recorded as Brayford, Brewford, Braiford, Bruford, and probably others, this is an English surname. It is locational from a place called Brayford or possibly Brafield or Brayfield, or from some now 'lost' medieval village of which the only public reminder in the late 20th century of its very existence, would seem to be the surname. Brafield in Northamptonshire and Brayfield in Berkshire exist as villages, and it is clear from the surname lists that over the centuries some overlap in spelling has taken place. However in our opinion a place called Brayford probably did exist, and the meaning was the shallow river crossing by the briars from the Olde English pre 7th century 'braer-forda'. Other explanations are possible, but this seems the most likely. The surname has been well recorded in the registers of the city of London from at least Elizabethan times, although there may be other epicentres of recordings that we have not found. These early recordings include Elizabeth Brayford who was christened at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on January 10th 1587, and two centuries later that of William Bruford at St Olaves church, Old Jewry, on February 27th 1758.
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