Recorded in at least the four spellings of Hanaford, Handford, Handforth and Hanford, this is an English locational surname. It originates from either the village of Hanaford in Devon, or Handforth in the county of Cheshire, or from a similar place called Handford, but known locally as Hanford, in Staffordshire. The meaning of the name in all cases is probably "Hana's Ford", with Hana being an early baptismal name. However "hana" also described the cock bird, so it is possible that the place names refer to fords where for some reason they kept cock birds, perhaps fighting cocks. The surname is first recorded in the 14th century, see below, and other early examples include Richard de Honford, in the Pipe Rolls of Cheshire, in 1398, and Richard Handforth of Godley, Cheshire in 1545. Later examples include Richard Hanford of Warwick in 1468, and John Handford of Devon, in 1642. The first known recording is probably that of Simon de Hanford, in the Pipe Rolls of the county of Somerset in the year 1230. This was in the reign of King Henry 111 of England, known by the nickname of "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272.
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