This unusual name is of English locational origin, from the place called "Keresforth" in West Yorkshire, near Barnsley. The placename is first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Crevesford", and has two possible meanings, the first of which is "Cenfriths ford", from the Old English pre 7th Century personal name "Cenfrith" and "ford", ford. There is another possible meaning for the name, however, which is derived from the Middle English "kerr", meaning wet ground and "fote", foot, bottom of a hill. If this source is to be taken, it would form a topographic surname denoting residence at or by such a place. In the modern idiom, the name can be found as "kerfoot", "kerfod", "kerfed" and "kesford". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ricardus de Kerrforth. which was dated 1379, in the "Poll Tax Records", Yorkshire. during the reign of King Richard 11, known as "Richard of Bordeaux", 1377 - 1399. 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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