This is an Anglo-Scottish surname. The Scots claim that it originates from Belford, a hamlet near Yetholm in Roxburgh, Scotland, and this may well be so as shown below. However its now much larger larger "neighbour" of Belford in the county of Northumberland, is a more likely origin for most English nameholders. Eitherway the surname comes from the region of the British Isles known as "The Borders", and whether English or Scottish was probably associated with the famous or infamous depending on your view, "Border Reivers." These bandits, or probably in modern social parlance, "underprivileged," from time to time terrorised the countryside as far down as the city of York, and as far north as the city of Edinburgh, over several centuries.
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