The English surname Sanford, also found in Scotland and Ireland, is an habitational name from any of the various places named Sanford in Berkshire, Devon, Dorset, Oxfordshire, and Shropshire, so called from the Old English terms sand meaning “sand or sandy” and  ford meaning “ford.” The earliest written reference to the name is in 1175 when Jorden de Sandforda is recorded in the “Pipe Rolls of Warwickshire.” The name is first recorded in the New World in 1630 when John Sanford arrived in Salem, Massachusetts. Today there are approximately 36,000 bearers of the name Sanford living in the United States.

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