The name Rayford is of Anglo-Saxon
origin and came from when a family lived beside a marsh or reedy ford.
Rayford is a topographic
surname, which was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree. Habitation
names form the other broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.
Early Origins of the Rayford family
The surname Rayford was first found in Devon
where they held a family seat
from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.
Early History of the Rayford family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rayford research.Another 238 words (17 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rayford History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Rayford Spelling Variations
Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations
were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Rayford family name include Radford, Ratford and others.
Early Notables of the Rayford family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Rayford Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Rayford family to the New World and Oceana
For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland
, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Rayford surname or a spelling variation of the name include :
Rayford Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Emanuel Rayford, who arrived in Maryland in 1659 CITATION[CLOSE]
Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
Rayford Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Julius Rayford, aged 23, arrived in New York in 1895 aboard the ship "State of California" from Glasgow via Londonderry CITATION[CLOSE]
"New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JX9Y-DWB : 6 December 2014), Julius Rayford, 27 Mar 1895; citing departure port Glasgow via Londonderry, arrival port New York, ship name State of California, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
Rayford Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- M. C. Rayford, aged 19, arrived in New York in 1920 aboard the ship "Firmore" from Daiquiri, Cuba CITATION[CLOSE]
"New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J68Y-QTY : 6 December 2014), M. C. Rayford, 18 Oct 1920; citing departure port Daiquiri, Cuba, arrival port New York, ship name Firmore, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
Contemporary Notables of the name Rayford (post 1700)
- Caron Nimoy "Sugaray" Rayford (b. 1969), American electric blues singer and songwriter
- Robert Rayford (1953-1969), American teenager who some scientists have claimed represents the earliest case of HIV/AIDS in North America
- Floyd Kinnard Rayford (b. 1957), American Major League Baseball player who played for the Baltimore Orioles (1980, 1982), St. Louis Cardinals (1983) and again for the Baltimore Orioles (1984–1987)
- Caesar Rayford (b. 1986), American football defensive end for the Tampa Bay Storm