This name is of English locational origin from a place in Surrey called Gainsford. The first element of the name is believed to derive from the Olde English pre 7th Century personal byname Gegn from "gegn" meaning "direct", plus "ford", a ford, hence, "Gegn's Ford". The surname is particularly well recorded in Church registers of London and Surrey from the mid 16th Century under the variant spellings Gayn(e)sford and Gainseford, (see below). On May 7th 1555, Robert Gaynsford and Jane Katesby were married in Carshalton, Surrey, and in September 1568 Frances, daughter of Erasmus Gaynisford or Gainsford, was christened in Crowhurst, Surrey. The christening of Elizabeth, daughter of John Gainsford, took place in Carshalton on June 6th 1583 and on January 18th 1600 Jane Gainsford and John Warner were married in Limehouse, London. Thomas Gainsford (deceased 1624) published "Vision and Discourse of Henry VII concerning the unity of Great Britain" in 1610. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Dorathy Gaynesford married Edward Wells, which was dated December 7th 1544, in "St. Margaret's, Westminster", London, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Good King Hal", 1509 - 1547. 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.