Meaning and Origin of: Bradford

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First name origins & meanings:

  • Old English : Broad meadow

Last name origin & meaning:

  • English : habitational name from any of the many places, large and small, called Bradford; in particular the city in West Yorkshire, which originally rose to prosperity as a wool town. There are others in Derbyshire, Devon, Dorset, Greater Manchester, Norfolk, Somerset, and elsewhere. They are all named with Old English brād ‘broad’ + ford ‘ford’.
  • This name was brought independently to North American by many different bearers from the 17th century onward. William Bradford (1590–1657), born in Austerfield in South Yorkshire, England, the son of a yeoman farmer, was among the Pilgrim Fathers who emigrated to America on the Mayflower in 1620. He was a signer of the Mayflower Compact and in 1621 he was elected governor of Plymouth colony, being re-elected thirty times.