This name is of Scottish territorial origin from the lands of Eckford near Kelso, Roxburghshire. The component elements of the palcename are believed to be the Northern Medieval English "heck" from the Old English "haec" translating variously as a floodgate, sluice or grating used to catch fish at a weir, plus "ford", a ford. The surname from this source first appears on record in the early 13th Century, (see below). One, Geoffrey de Ekkeford received confirmation of a land charter in the territory of "Home" circa 1250, and Richard le Fiz Geffrai de Ekford "of the county of Rokesburk" rendered homage to Edward 1 of England in 1296. Wilzam of Hekfurde "a clerk of gret wertu" was recorded in Glasgow circa 1350 and John of Ekford, a Scottish merchant, appears in "A Scottish Calendar of Documents", (1358). Agnes Eckford and Alexander Haitlie were married in Melrose, Roxburghshire, on June 2nd 1654. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alexander de Hecford, charter witness, which was dated 1206, "Records of the Abbey of Kelso", during the reign of King William, "The Lion of Scotland", 1165 - 1214. 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.