This interesting surname with variant spellings Guillford, Galleford, Galiford, etc., is a nickname for a greedy person, deriving from the old French "goulafre" meaning "glutton". The creation of surnames from nicknames was a common practice in the Middle Ages and many modern-day surnames derive from medieval nicknames referring to personal characteristics, as in this instance "the greedy one". The surname dates back to the late 11th Century, (see below). Further recordings include Philip Golafre (1166), "the Red Book of the Exchequer, Suffolk", and Henry Gulafre (1273) "the Hundred Rolls of Norfolk". One Walter Guillefex (1633) and Henry Guilliford (1670) appear in the parish records of St. Peter's, Cornhill, London. Abraham Jonathan, son of Abraham and Rachael Galliford was christened on May 21st 1809 at St. Mary's, Battersea, London and William Galliford was christened on April 7th 1870 at St. Mary Soho, Westminster. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Gulafra, which was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book, during the reign of King William 1, known as "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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