The origin of this name is still today quite uncertain. The theories include: 1) from the Old English and Middle English “ford”, meaning “someone who lived in near a ford”. 2) An Americanized form of like-sounding Jewish surnames, or else a translated form of the German “Fürth”. The name "Fürth" derives from the German word for "ford", as the first settlements originated around a ford. In Ireland, birth records for the year 1890 reveal that the surname “Ford” was much less common than the variant “Forde”.