This famous surname is of French locational origin from Montford-sur-Risle in Normandy, so called from the Olde French "mont", a hill, plus "fort", strong and impregnable. The surname from this source is first recorded in the Domesday Book (see below), the namebearer being a follower of William the Conqueror who was granted lands in England. One, Ralph de Munford appears in the 1159 "Pipe Rolls of Kent" and a Simon de Mumford in the 1242 "Fine Court Rolls of Kent". It is also possible that the name is locational from various villages called Montford, but these all have a French origin as above. In the "modern" idiom, the name is spelt Montford, Montfort, Mountford, Mountfort, Mumford and Mun(d)ford. On 1597, a John Mountford was recorded in the Oxford University Register, whilst William Momeforde is recorded in the register of St Margarets, Westminster, being christened there on March 22nd 1546. The ancient Coat of Arms has the balzon of a blue lion saliant on a gold field, the Crest being a demi cat rampant. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugo de (of) Montford, which was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book, during the reign of King William 1, known as "The Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. 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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