This unusual and interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a topographical surname which indicated someone who lived at or by the 'up', top, fold or pen. The derivation is from the Old English pre 7th Century 'up', upper, with 'falod, fald', a fold, an enclosure or pen for cattle or sheep. Surnames formed from topographical elements were among the earliest recorded in England, and have frequently retained their original Medieval spelling, as here, where the name is still true to the Middle English 'up', upper and 'fold', fold. The surname is found recorded mainly in the southern counties of England, and may also have been a locational name from a place that has now been 'lost'. One variant form of the name appears in Surrey in 1595, as in George Upfoulde. John Upfold was christened on the 3rd May 1571 at Headley, Hampshire, and Mary Upfold married Richard Exall in May 1588 in Hascombe, Surrey. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Elizabeth Upfold (marriage to John Hamonnd), which was dated 29th July 1566, Lodsworth, Sussex, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, 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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