This is a dialect form of either an existing village such as Tetford in Lincolnshire or Thetford in Norfolk, or from some now lost medieval site. There are some five thousand examples of surnames deriving from such lost villages or hamlets in England alone, so this is always a possibility. However in this case we do believe that the T(h)etfords are the source. In both cases the origins are Olde English and translate as the same which is "The top ford" or possibly "best ford", the Norfolk example being recorded in the 870 a.d. Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, although both appear in the 1086 Domesday Book, as "Tedforde". It would seem that the earliest spelling in Norfolk (as shown below) is as Tatfeld, and then in London the spelling is firstly Tatefold, but subsequently the popular spelling is Titford, with only rare examples of Tatford, although in Hampshire from the mid 18th century, Tatford is the usual form. Examples of these recordings include Claudius Tatefold who was christened at Wandsworth, London on March 29th 1699, whilst on June 17th 1722 Margaret Tatford married Joseph Worley at the famous church of St Dunstans in the East, Stepney. The name first appears in Hampshire on April 8th 1729 when Francis Tatford married Elizabeth Jones at Holy Trinity Church, Gosport, and thereafter the name is well recorded in the county. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Tatfeld, which was dated October 22nd 1568, married Susan Colefox at Trunch, Norfolk, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess" 1558 - 1603. 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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