This interesting surname with variant spellings Ford, Foord, Foard and Forth is derived from the old English pre 7th Century word "ford" meaning a river crossing, and the addition of "er" implies a dweller, (This is particularly common in Sussex); hence it is a topographical surname and signifies a "Dweller at the Ford". It may also be locational an refer to someone who came from one of the many places named with this word e.g., in Sussex, Somerset and Herefordshire. A Ford often attracted a settlement close by, hence the widespread occurrence of the surname, and the many placenames with the suffix "ford". Some early recordings of the surname include Peter ate Ford, registered in the Writs of Parliament (1313) and William Forder in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex (1327). On July 27th 1540, Ricu Forder was christened in Bentley, Hampshire and on october 7th 1542, Agnet Forder was also christened there. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Bruman de la Forda, which was dated 1066, The Pipe Rolls of Hampshire, during the reign of King William 1, "The Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. 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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