This interesting surname with variant spellings Paxforde, Paxeford, Packford, Paksforde, etc. is of locational origin from Paxford, one of the estimated seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets that have now disappeared from the maps in Britain. The prime cause of these "disappearances" was the enforced "clearing" and dispersal of the former inhabitants to make way for sheep pastures at the height of the wool trade in the 14th Century. Natural causes such as the Black Death of 1348, also contributed to the last village phenomenon. The original place Paxford is composed of the Old English pre 7th Century personal name Pac(c)a plus "ford" meaning "ford". The surname dates back to the late 16th Century, (see below). Further recordings include one Mary Paxforde, who was christened at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, and Henry Packford, son of George and Elizabeth, was christened on February 23rd 1650, at St. Dunstan, Stepney. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Lucas Packsforde married Joanne Simons, which was dated 1596, St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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.