This is an English surname. Recorded as Ledford, Ludford and Lodford, and possibly having an overlap with Lydford, a Somerset and Devonshire surname, it is locational from either of two places called Ludford in the counties of Shropshire and Lincoln, where in the latter county it is divided into Magna Ludford and Parva Ludford. In all cases the prefix is a reference to a river, and appears to originate from the Ancient British (pre Roman) word "hlude" meaning loud or perhaps fast flowing, with "forda", a shallow river crossing. Lydford in Devon is first recorded in the famous Anglo-Saxon Chronicles of the year 997 a.d. as Hyldanford, whilst Ludford in Lincoln was Ludesford in the Domesday Book of 1086, and in Shropshire as Ludesforde in the same register. The surname is much later and being locational was usually a "from" name. That is to say a surname that was given to somebody as easy identification, after they had left their original village and moved somewhere else. In this case the first known recording is believed to be that of John Lodeford of Somerset in the historical register known as "Kirbys Quest" in the year 1273, John Lydford also recorded as Ledford and Ludford, so much for early spelling, applied for a marriage licence in the city of London in the year 1450, whilst William Ludford married Vertue Roker at Canterbury Cathedral, Kent, in 1669.
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