This interesting and unusual English name is a dialectal variant of the locational name "Garford" in Buckinghamshire and "Garforth", West Yorkshire both composed of the Old English pre-seventh Century words "gara-", a medieval personal name deriving from the old English "gara", meaning a triangular piece of ground, plus the second element "-ford", a ford. Hence the name would often be given to one who had formerly lived on land of that description near a ford. These triangular areas would be left at the corner of an open field after rectangular furlongs had been laid out. Alice Garfurth married Thomas Robynson on October 29th 1557, at Rotherham while the christening of John Garforthe took place on January 17th 1557, also at Rotherham. At Adwick le Street Yorkshire on May 7th 1564, Samuel Pease married Elizabeth Garfurth. The family Coat of Arms consists of a diagonal black band between 6 goats on a silver field. Goats signify someone who is willing to fare hard to attain high office. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Gereford, which was dated 1219, in the "Assize Rolls of Yorkshire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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