Recorded as Trafford, Trafforde, and Trayford, this is an English locational surname. It originates from any of the places called Trafford, such as those in the counties of Cheshire, Lancashire and Northamptonshire. The place in Cheshire is now split into three separate villages, Bridge Trafford, Mickle Trafford, and Wimbolds Trafford, but the original settlement was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Traford" and as "Trocford" in 1190. The meaning is the ford in a valley from the Olde English pre 7th century word "trog", meaning trough or valley, with "ford", a shall ow river crossing. The place in Northamptonshire, recorded in the Domesday Book as "Trayeford", is named with the Olde English elements "traeppe", meaning a fish trap, with "ford", as before. Trafford in Lancashire was originally called Stratford, and is recorded as such in the 1206 Pipe Rolls of the county; The name means "the road through the ford", from the Olde English "straet", and "ford". William Trafforde of Cheshire was listed in the Register of the University of Oxford in 1589, and one Henry Trayford was rector of Wilmslow, Cheshire, in 1591. An early Coat of Arms granted to a family of the name depicts a red griffin segreant on a silver shield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Stephen de Trafforde. This was dated 1292, in the Records of Pleas, during the reign of King Edward 1st of England, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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