This unusual name is English and locational. It originates from a place called Keresforth in West Yorkshire, near the town of Barnsley. First recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Crevesford", it has two possible meanings. The first is "Cenfriths ford", from the Old English pre 7th Century personal name "Cenfrith", and "forda", a shallow river crossing, whilst the second is topogrphically similar being from the Middle English word "kerr", meaning wet or marshy ground and "fote", describing the foot probably of a hill or valley bottom. In the modern idiom, the surname can be found as Keford, Kefford, and Kerfoot. Locational and topographical surnames were amongst the first to be created in medieval times, as the simplest method of identifying a person particularly a stranger was to call him or sometimes her, by the name of the place from whence they came, or from some feature in the countryside by which they dwelt. Examples of surname recordings include Nicholas Keford on October 13th 1594 at St Peters Cornhill, in the ancient city of London,and Richard Kefford, who married Catherine Collins at St Georges Chapel, Westminster, on December 27th 1753. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ricardus de Kerrforth. This was dated 1379, in the Poll Tax rolls of the county of Yorkshire, during the reign of King Richard 11nd, 1377 - 1399. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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