This uncommon name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from the places called "Offord Cluny" and "Offord Darcy" in Cambridgeshire, formerly Huntingdonshire; the places are three and four miles respectively from the town of Huntingdon. The original place was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Upeforde", and as "Upford" in the 1210 Curia Rolls of the county; by the middle of the 13th Century the settlement has been divided into two separate villages, called "Offord Daci" (in 1254), from the 13th Century owner, William Daci, and "Offord Cluny", (1252) from the ownership of the Abbey of Cluny in France. The name Offord derives from the Old English pre 7th Century "uppe", up (stream), and "ford", ford. The surname development includes Robert de Offorde (1327, Suffolk), and Thomas de Offord (1374, Essex). One John Offord was christened at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, in London, on December 16th 1663. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Offewurth (witness), which was dated 1221, The Warwickshire Assize Rolls, during the reign of King Henry 111, "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.