This ancient name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is one of the earliest topographical surnames still in existence. The name derives from the Old English pre 7th Century "ford", ford, a shallow place in a river of water where men and animals could wade across. The term was used as a topographic name for someone who lived near a ford. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. In some cases the modern surname may be locational in origin, deriving from one of the many places named with the Old English "Ford", such as those in Herefordshire, Northumberland, Shropshire, Somerset, and Sussex...
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