Recorded in many forms including Romford, Rumford, and the London dialectals Rumfett, Rumfield, Rumfitt, and Rumforth, this is an English surname. It is usually locational from the market-town and parish of Romford, south west of Brentwood in Essex. However it is also possible that some name holders may originate from any of the villages called Romford in Hampshire, Dorset, and Kent. The Essex place is recorded as Rumford in the Charter Rolls of that county in the year 1200, and again in the Close Rolls of 1247. The first element of the placename is believed to be the word "rum", meaning wide or spacious, with "fords", a shallow river crossing; however, it is quite possible that "rum-" goes back to an earlier "run-", meaning council or assembly. If so this would indicate that Romford was an ancient meeting place. Locational surnames were originally given to the lord of the manor or as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. Early examples of the surname recordings taken from surviving registers of the city of London include that on April 15th 1548 of Stephen Rumforde and Margarete Nedam, who were married at St. Stephan's church, Coleman Street, whilst On June 1st 1549, Stephen Roumfort married Elizabeth Carver at St. Mary Magdalene's, Old Milk Street. Other obscure recordings include John Romfitt on May 8th 1634 at All Hallows, London Wall, and Elizabeth Romfield at St Brides Fleet Street, on Christmas Day 1665. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Warin de Rumford. This was dated 1233, in "A Kalendar of Documents relating to Essex", during the reign of King Henry 111rd, 1216 - 1272. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop," often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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