This very unusual name is apparently a dialectal Transposition of an original habitional name "Sawford". The origin is Old English pre 7th Century. The derivation being from "Saurr" translating as muddy or slow moving, and "forda", a shallow place. Unfortunately the precise location of "Saurr-Forda" or the later "Sawford" is now lost, although the surname is well recorded in it's "original" spellings from at least the late medieval period. The surname development showing the "link" spellings include's Mary Sawforde of Westminster recorded in November 1549, William Swafort of Aldgave, London in 1591, whilst the late variant Sawfoot would seem to be first recorded in Baldock Church, Hertfordshire when Edward Sawfoot was a witness on January 22nd of that year.The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Sawford, which was dated March 31st 1540, a witness at St. Leonard's Church, Eastcheap, London, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Bluff King Hal", 1510 - 1548. 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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