This interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from either of the places called "Pickforde", in Ticehurst, Sussex, or "Pitchford", in Shropshire. The latter is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Piceforde", and in the Shropshire Fees Court records of 1242 as "Picford", and means "the ford where pitch could be found", derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century "pic", pitch, used here of mineral pitch, with "ford", ford. "Pickforde" in Sussex means "the pig ford", derived from the Olde English "picga", pig, and "frod", as before. Locational names were usually given to the lord of the manor and to those former inhabitants who left to live or work in another area. One Robert Picford was one of the early settlers in the New World. He was granted a ticket for Virginia from Barbadoes in September 1679. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de Picford, which was dated 1273, in the "Shropshire Hundred Rolls", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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.