The Irish surname Hafford, also found in England, is found chiefly in county Westmeath where it was brought by English settlers in the 17th Century. The name is an habitational name from places called Harford, in Gloucestershire and Devon. The former is named from Old English heorot ‘hart’ + ford ‘ford’, the latter has as its first element Old English here ‘army’. Early recordings of the name include the christening of Thomas, son of Richard Howforde, at Leigh in Gloucestershire, on October 20th 1575, and the marriage of Jane Howford and Robert Minchin on November 23rd 1579, at Castle Eaton, Wiltshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Howford, which was dated January 20th 1542, marriage to Agnes Barne, at Longdon, Worcestershire.
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