English Place-name Society

Survey of English Place-Names

A county-by-county guide to the linguistic origins of England’s place-names – a project of the English Place-Name Society, founded 1923.

Child Okeford

Major Settlement in the Parish of Child Okeford

Historical Forms

  • Acford 1086 DB
  • Acforda Exon
  • Acford(e) 1155 MontC c.1185 Templar 1208 Cur 1245 Cl
  • Akford 1244 Ipm
  • Ocf(f)ord' 1332 SR 1372 ChrP
  • Chiltaneford (sic) 1210–12 RBE
  • Chiltacford 1212 Fees
  • Childacford(e) 1227 FF 1280,1288 Ass 1291 Tax 1346 FA
  • Childakford(') 1242–3 Fees 1367 Pat
  • Chyld Acford 1284 Ipm
  • Childeacford 1297 Pat
  • Chyldacford als. Childocford 1310 Ipm
  • Child Hakforde 1412 Cl
  • Childe Acford 1428 FA
  • Childocford(e) 1236 FF 1501 Ipm
  • Child(e) Okford 1307 Ipm 1365 Cl
  • Child(e)ockef(f)ord(e) 1396 IpmR 1546 Bartelot 16
  • Childokford als. Childakford 1461 Pat
  • Chyldokford als. Chyldokyford 1498 Ipm
  • Childeokford 1501 ib
  • Child Ockford 1870 Hutch3
  • Childe(h)okeford 1262 FF 1397 Cl 1415,1429 Fine 1431 FA
  • Child(h)okeford(e) 1281 FF 1284 Ipm 1501 Ipm
  • Child(e) Okeford 1410 Fine 1495 Ipm
  • Child Oakeford 1664 HTax
  • Chillakeford', Chilacford (p) 1268 Ass
  • Chil(l)okford 1412 FA
  • Chylockford 16 Hen2
  • Chidekford (sic) 1280 Ass
  • Chidocford 1310 Fine
  • Chyldayford (sic) 1291 Tax
  • Childeyford (sic) 1428 FA
  • Child Okfeld (sic) 1306 Cl
  • Cheldokford (sic) 1399 Pat
  • Childekforde otherwise Childakforde 1423 Cl
  • Childekeford 1447 Pat
  • Chyldeokesford 1550 PlR
  • Chele Aukford 1575 Saxton


One of a group of three pars. which share the name Okeford, 'oak-tree ford', from āc and ford , the others being Okeford Fitzpaine infra and Shillingstone (olim Okeford Shilling ) 2 238. The site of the original ford is now lost, but it may have been where the road from Child Okeford crosses R. Stour at what is now Hayward Bridge infra . The distinguishing affix Child is probably from cild in the sense 'son of a royal or noble family', though the particular reference is obscure. Fägersten 14 notes the possibility that cild may have been used as a title by Earl Harold, who held TRE one of the two DB manors of Child Okeford (VCHDo 366); this Harold was the son of Earl Godwin whose father is stated to have been Wulfnoð cild in MS F of ASC (Plummer 1138). However the absence of gen.sg. inflection in the forms might then be unusual, cf. Childswickham Gl 26 which has the sg. affix but with consistent -(e )s . An original gen.pl. inflection (lOE cilda ) might better explain the forms, if it could be assumed that the affix is of lOE rather than eME origin, with eME loss of ending in the triple compound (Childe -1262 FF, 1297 Pat are the only 13th cent. forms with -e , as against the common forms without ending throughout the 13th cent.); for gen.pl. cilda as affix, cf. Chilcompton So (DEPN), Chieflowman D 552. The meaning may then be 'the Okeford manor belonging to the young noblemen' or the like, cf. the common p.n. Chilton Brk 497, etc. On the other hand it is possible that the distinguishing affix Child is in origin a topographical term celde , WSax  cielde 'a spring', cf. also Chilcombe par. infra . The two earliest 13th cent. spellings in Chilt - are no doubt due to AN influence, v. Feilitzen 97.

As Hutch3 4 77 puts it, 'here were always two manors'.There were two in DB, each assessed at five hides. That held TRW by the king (VCHDo 366) is to be identified with Ockford Superior 1753 Hutch3, Trenchard 's -Manor , Ockford -Superior or Upper 1774 Hutch1, Okeford Upper 1795 Boswell, named from the family of John Trenchard 1485 Hutch3 478. For the other DB manor, held TRW by the Count of Mortain (VCHDo 384), v. Lower Okeford infra .

Places in the same Parish