Origins of Guilford:
Listed as Guildford, Guilford, Guldford, and Guldforde, this is a surname of Olde English pre 7th-century sources. It acquires either from the city of Guildford in Surrey or from the settlement at a fort where golden flowers grew. The evolution is from the old words gylde, which means gold, and forda, which means not a deep river crossing. There is a belief in the city of Guildford that at some time even before the 1066 Norman invasion, the area was famous for its wild Marigolds. The place name was first listed in the successful records famous as the Anglo-Saxon Records, as early as the year 880 A.D, where it shows as "Gyldeford" and in the Domesday Book two centuries later as Geldeford or Guldeford. Like most geographical surnames the first documentation are many years after the place name itself and frequently given, as in this situation, either to the king of the palace, or as recognition to a person after he or she departed from their real home, and shifted elsewhere. Recordings derived from early parish records contain as Zachariah Gillford, who baptized at St. Dunstans in the East, Stepney, in 1658, and Thomas Gulliford at St. Botolphs without Aldgate, City of London, in 1684.
More common variations are: Guillford, Guiliford, Gulford, Guilliford, Guliford, Quilford, Gailford, Gullford, Guwlford, Guelford.
The surname Guilford first appeared in Kent at Guildford, a district town that is sometimes dated back to Saxon times near the year 880 when it first noted as Gyldeforda. About 978 or so, it was home to a new English Royal Mint. By the Domesday Book of 1086, the town's name was changed to Gildeford and was held by William, the invader. Guildford palace was considered having been built shortly after the 1066 conquest of England by William, the invader. As the palace not noted in the Domesday Book, it was frequently considered having been built after 1086. Over the years, the palace has gone through many hands and is today held by the Guildford Corporation. It's necessary for ruins, but the gardens are a very famous visitor site. The keep now consists of a visitor center, open between April and September.
The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of Sir John de Guldeford, dated about 1250, in the "rolls of heraldry" known as the “Parliamentary roll.” It was during the time of King Edward II who was known to be the “Edward of Carnafon," dated 1377-1399. The origin of surnames during this period became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation. It came to be known as Poll Tax in England.
Many of the people with surname Guilford had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.
United States of America:
Individuals with the surname Guilford settled in the United States in two different centuries respectively in the 17th, and 19th. Some of the individuals with the name Guilford who landed in the United States in the 17th century included Margaret Guilford, who arrived in Maryland in 1661.
The following century saw many more Guilford surnames arrive. Some of the population with the name Guilford who arrived in the United States in the 19th century included Samuel Guilford settled in Philadelphia in 1851.
People with the surname Guilford who settled in Australia in the 19th century included John Guilford, an English prisoner from Lancaster, who shifted aboard the "Agarnernnon" in April 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia
Here is the population distribution of the last name Guilford: United States 3,203; New Zealand 230; England 220; Canada 98; Australia 74; Trinidad and Tobago 17; Guyana 11; Bahrain 3; South Africa 3; Hong Kong 2.
J. P. Guilford (1897–1988), was an American psychologist.
Lord Guilford Dudley (1536–1554), was the husband of Lady Jane Grey.
Jane Guildford (1500s–1555), was a ruler of Northumberland and mother of King Guilford Dudley.
Zac Guildford (born 1989), is a New Zealand rugby player.