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The Origin of the Radford Name


The English name Radford is local in origin, being one of those names derived from the name of the place where a man once lived or where he once held land. In this case, the name simply signifies "(a local) of Radford", Radford being the name of different towns in Nottinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Warwickshire in England. The literal meaning of the name is "red ford" or "reed ford", as the Old English word "read" can be translated by "red" or by "reed". Radford in county Nottinghamshire originated as a surname, which spread over the border into Derbyshire, and thence to Cheshire and Lancashire

Early records of the name include John de Radford, mentioned in the Pipe Rolls of Nottinghamshire in 1209 and Geoffrey de Ratforde cited in the Sussex Subsidy Rolls in 1296. The presence of "de" meaning "of" emphasizes the local origins of the name. The Rolls were ledgers that that  recorded money from each county which was paid to the Crown on a annual basis.


The oldest documentation of a direct ancestor is when the Radford name appears in the Normanton Registers in the 1700s. Robert Radford (b. 1706 at Mickleover, Derbyshire d. 15 Mar 1796 Littleover, Dbys.), is our most distant ancestor documented so far. Robert and his descendants were a well-known yeoman family who farmed the Cottons Farm until 1894.


The site of Cottons Farm is an ancient settlement. Reference is made to it in “The Domesday Book, England's Heritage, Then and Now” edited by Thomas Hinde, “Cottons; Codetune: Kings Land, Henry de Ferrers. It was the largest farm extending from the former Normanton Barracks to Sinfin Moor, in area about 380 acres.


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