The English surname Bedford is an habitational name from the county seat of Bedfordshire, or a smaller place of the same name in Lancashire. Both are named with the Old English personal name Beda and the Old English term ford meaning “ford.” The name is now very common in Yorkshire as well as Bedfordshire. The placename is recorded in circa 880 as "Bedanford", and in the Domesday Book of 1086 as “Bedeford. The first recorded spelling of the family name is Jordan de Bedeford in the "Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire"in 1273. One William Bedford was an early settler in Virginia, being listed as living "over the James River" near "James Cittye" in 1623. Today there are approximately 9,000 bearers off the name Bedford in the United States.
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