Recorded as Playford and the dialectals Playfote and Playfoot, this is an English locational surname. It originates from Playford in Suffolk, and recorded as "Plegeforda" in the Domesday Book of 1086. The translation of village name from the pre 7th century Olde English is the "plega" meaning "sport" plus "forda", a shallow river crossing. This suggests a place where sporting contests were held, and close to a ford. Organised games in the sense of team sports did not exist until the 18th century, so 'Playford' was presumably an area set aside for archery or running or possibly horse racing, and hence the development as Playfoot. The surname from this source is first recorded in the early half of the 12th Century, (see below), whilst later recordings taken from existing church registers and charters include Richard Playfote of Colchester in Essex, in the year 1310, and Andrew Playford, who was christened at Ingham, Suffolk, on November 30th 1545, in the reign of King Henry V111. The blazon of the coat of arms granted in Suffolk, has a green field charged with silver lion rampant, on a red chief , a gold fleur de lis between two silver castles. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Fulcher de Pleiforda. This was dated 1130, in the pipe rolls of the county of Suffolk, during the reign of King Henry 1, known as "The lion of justice", 1100 - 1135. 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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