Recorded in the spellings of Garfitt, Garfit, and Garfoot, this interesting English surname is locational and almost certainly from the county of Yorkshire where it is well recorded. It is a dialectal variant of the village name Garforth, a place name composed of the Old English pre-seventh century words 'gara', meaning a triangular piece of ground, plus the second element of 'ford', a shallow river crossing. A 'gara' was the land left over at the corner of an 'open' field after the rectangular furlongs had been laid out. Locational surnames are 'from' names. That is to say that it is a name that would usually have been given to the original nameholders when they left their original homes and moved elsewhere. Spelling being problematical and local dialects very 'thick', soon lead to the development of alternative spellings. In this case early examples of the name recordings include: John Garfoote who married Frances Hazeldene at All Hallows church, London wall, city of London, on May 25th 1658, and John Garfitt, whose son John was christened at Kirkheaton church, near Huddersfield, Yorkshire, on May 31st 1683. It would seem that this child lived only a short time, because on October 12th 1684 at the same church a second son called John was christened. The coat of arms associated with the family name has the blazon of Sable, a bend between six goats passant argent. The goat has an honourable place in heraldry being awarded to those who attained high office. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Gereford. This was dated 1219, in the "Assize Rolls" of Yorkshire, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272.
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