This ancient name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is one of the earliest topographical surnames still in existence. The name derives from the Olde 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 topographical 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.
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