This interesting name is of early Medieval English origin, and is a locational surname deriving from the place called 'Bulford' in Wiltshire. The placename is recorded in the Wiltshire Charter Rolls of 1270 as 'Bultesforda', in 1199 as 'Bultiford', and in the Ecclesiastical Tax Records of 1291 as 'Bulteforde'. The name Bulford means 'ford where ragged robin grew', derived from the Old English pre 7th Century 'bulutig', a derivative of 'bulut', ragged robin, with 'ford', ford. Locational surnames were usually given to the lord of the manor, and to those former inhabitants of a place who left to live or work in another area, and were best identified by the name of their former birthplace. The christening of one John Bulford was recorded at St. Stephan's, Coleman Street, London, on October 3rd 1589. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Bulford (marriage to Edeth Passien), which was dated October 4th 1571, Warminster, Wiltshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, 'Good Queen Bess', 1558-1603. 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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