This interesting surname has a number of origins. Firstly, it may be a locational name from a place called ord in Northumberland, deriving from the Old English pre 7th Century "ord" meaning "point". This may refer to a long ridge. Secondly, it may be an Anglicized form of the Germanic personal name Ort, a short form of the various compound names with the first element meaning "point of a sword, spear". Finally, it may be a Scottish locational name from various minor places named with the Gaelic "ord" meaning "hammer", which is used as a topographical term for a rounded hill. The surname dates back to the early 13th Century, (see below). Further recordings include one Adam de Horde of the county of Peebles who rendered homage in 1296. Church recordings include Ralph Ord who married Elizabeth Turner on February 12th 1592 at West Ord, Northumberland, and Barbara Ord married Cuthbert Armstrong on December 17th 1620 at St. Dunstan's, Stepney. An interesting name bearer was Craven Ord (1756-1832) an antiquary whose Suffolk collection of historical manuscripts and brasses are in the British Museum. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry de Orde, which was dated 1209, the Pipe Rolls of Northumberland, during the reign of King John known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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