This interesting name, with variant spellings Compfort, Compford, Comford and Comport, derives from the Medieval English "Cumfort", (Old French "Cunfort" or "Confort"), meaning encouragement, aid, or support, and was originally given as a personal nickname to one who was a source of strength and support. The surname was first recorded in the latter part of the 13th Century, (see below). One, Richard Cumfort appears in "The Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire", dated 1273, and a Richard Counfort in the 1375 "Calendar of Pleas for London". The variant spellings Compfort, Comford and Compford recorded in Church registers of Kent and London from the mid 16th Century have given rise to the theory that, in some instances, the name may be locational from a now lost place in Kent, possibly called Compford from the Old English "camp", a field, plus "ford", ford. On November 12th, 1564 Anthonie Compfort, an infant, was christened in Keston, Kent and on August 30th 1562, Thomas Comfort was christened in Ash by Wrotham, Kent. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Cumfort, witness, which was dated 1269, in the "Assize Court Rolls of Somerset", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.