Recorded in several spellings including Langford, Lankford, and Longford, this is an English locational surname. It ultimately derives from any of the places called Langford or Longford in the counties of Bedfordshire, Devonshire, Essex, Norfolk, Nottinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Somerset and Wiltshire. These places are mostly recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Langheforda, Langeford(e) and Longaford", and all but one share the same meaning and derivation, which is "the long shallow river crossing", from the Olde English pre 7th Century word "langa", meaning long, with "ford", a shallow area of river. The only exception to the general meaning would seem to be that of Langford in Nottinghamshire, recorded as "Landeforde" in Domesday Book, and this place derives its name from the "landaford", meaning a ford which denoted a boundary, in this case the border with Lincolnshire. Locational surnames are descended either from the descendants of the local lord of the manor, or more usually were means of identification for 'strangers', particularly by those who had left their original birthplace to settle somewhere else. Early examples of the surname recordings taken from surviving church registers in the city of London include: the marriage of William Langford and Elizabeth Davis in Bermondsey, on June 14th 1582, and the christening of Batheia Lankford or Lanckford, at St Botolphs without Aldgate, on September 3rd 1692. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Osm' de Langeford, which was dated 1130, in the "Pipe Rolls of Wiltshire", during the reign of King Henry 1, known as "The Lion of Justice", 1100 - 1135.
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