I was told by a Scottish history professor that the name originated at the town of Alford, in the Grampian Mountains in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. He said that the town wasn't named after the family, but that the family took the name of the town. "Al" was was taken from a Scots gaelic word meaning "high." (I think) "ford" had to do with the river that runs beside or through the town. "Alford" meant "high ford." I'm not sure about all the facts here, but I did find the town of Alford on the map of Scotland. It looks like it's about 20 miles or less inland from Aberdeen. Hope this helps you.