Recorded as Gaynesford, Gaynsford, and variations such as Gainseford, Gainsford, Gaysford, Gaisford, and others, this is an English siurname. It is locational from a village in the county of Surrey called Gainsford. The first element of the name is believed to derive from the Olde English pre 7th century personal name Gegn meaning "direct", with "ford", a shallow river crossing and hence "Gegn's ford". Locational surnames are usually "from" names. This is to say that they are names given to people after they left their original village to move somewhere else. However in this case the surname is well recorded in the surviving church registers of both London and Surrey from the mid 16th century, suggesting that nameholders if they moved at all, only moved a short distance probably through marriage. These early recordings include Robert Gaynsford and Jane Katesby who were married at Carshalton, Surrey, on May 7th 1555, and on September 1st 1568, Frances, the daughter of Erasmus Gaynisford or Gainsford, was christened at Crowhurst, also in Surrey, whilst Samuel Gaisford married Mary Gray at the church of St Bartholomew the Less, in the city of London, on June 26th 1656. Thomas Gainsford of died in 1624 published a book called "Vision and Discourse of Henry VII concerning the unity of Great Britain" in 1610. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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