Recorded as Guesford, Gosford, Gofford, Gosforth, Gasford, Gauford and possibly others, this is a good example of an English locational surname. However spelt the surname originates from the places called Gosford in Oxfordshire, Devonshire or Gloucestershire, or from Gosforth, of which there are two examples in Cumbria and Northumberland. They all have the same literal meaning of 'Goose-ford', a place where in the past geese were driven in flocks down to the nearest market. The probable actual meaning is a shallow ford, one which was only inches deep so that even geese could walk across! Gosport in Hampshire was a place where geese were sold or even possibly exported live to the continent.Locational surnames are usually 'from' names. That is to say names that were given to people after they left their original villages, as easiy identification. Spelling over the centuries being at best indifferent and local dialects very thick, often lead to 'sounds like' forms. In this case examples of the surname spelling are found in the city of London from early Stuart times, and include Edmund Guesford at St Botolphs Bishopgate on October 8th 1622, and David Gosford at St Olaves Southwark, on May 28th 1665.
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