This is an English surname. Recorded in various spellings including Rushford, Rushforth, and very rarely Rishforth, it is locational from either the village of Rushford near Thetford, in the county of Norfolk, or for some nameholders, there is the possibility of origination from a now "lost" medieval village. The place name and hence the later surname, is derived from the Olde English pre 7th century words "risc forda" meaning the shallow river crossing by the rush beds. Locational surnames are usually "from" names. That is to say names given to people as easy identification, after they left their original homes and moved somewhere else. Spelling over the centuries being at best indifferent and local accents very thick, often lead to the development of alternative forms. If for some reason the original village "disappeared" completely at the same time as its inhabitants, then the chances for the development of alternative spellings was greatly increased. Early examples of the surname recordings in the surviving registers of the diocese of Greater London include:John Rusheforde who married Ellyn Gosenoll at Christ Church, Greyfriars, on October 11th 1563, and Joane Rushforth, the daughter of Samuel Rushforth, christened at St Botolphs Bishopgate, on December 27th 1613.
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