This ancient locational surname is of Anglo-Saxon origins. It derives from one of the three villages so-called in Herefordshire, Dorset, or Shropshire. All are recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book commissioned by William 1st (1066 - 1087), although the translations of the name in each case are quite different. The Hereford village name means 'the crossing place of the Welshman' and derives from the 8th century Olde English 'wealisc', and now seen in the modern forms of Wales or Welsh. The Shropshire village name derives from the Olde English 'waella' meaning a stream or spring, plus 'forda', whilst the Dorset meaning is again different. It originates in the Olde English 'wealt' which means 'unsteady', and in this case refers to a crossing of a quick sand. The family of the first recorded namebearer held the manor of Walford in Hertfordshire in the early 12th Century, his 'arms' are shown below. Other early recording examples include William de Walford, in the 1221 Assize Court Rolls of Warwickshire, Henry de Walford, in Gloucestershire in 1279, and Gilbert Walford, in the Subsidy Rolls of Somerset in 1327. Amongst the earliest settlers to the New World in the 17th century were Mues and Elizabeth Walford recorded in the parish registers of St. Michael's Barbados, in March 1678.The coat of arms has the blazon of a silver field, a red fesse, in chief a red lion passant. The crest is an ostrich feather issuing from a mural crown. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Sir Hugo de Walford, which was dated 1109, in the Pipe Rolls of Hertfordshire, during the reign of King Henry 1, known as 'The Lion of Justice', 1100 - 1135. 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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