This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from either Gulliford, a hamlet near Exmouth in Devon, or Colyford, a village near Colyton in Devon. The latter is recorded as "Culiford", in 1244 in the Feet of Fines. Fulliford itself is composed of the Olde English personal name "Cula", from a Germanic root "kul", swollen, with the Olde English "ford", a shallow river crossing. Colyford is composed of "Coly" a British-river name derived from the Welsh "cul", narrow, with "ford", as before; Colyford stands on the river Coly.During the Middle Ages when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was becoming more common, people often took their former village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name in many variant forms. Anne Colyforde married Robart Browne on January 20th, 1547 at Colyton, Devon, and at Woodbury, Devon, Edward Culliford married Elizabeth More on November 7th 1579. In London, the earliest example of the surname in Church Records is the christening of Thomas Cullingford on February 28th 1796 at St. Mary's, Marylebone Road. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Edwarde Colyforde, which was dated March 16th 1547, christened at Little Hempston in Devon, during the reign of King Henry V111, "Bluff King Hal", 1509-1547. 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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