Earthfield

Earthfield - what does Earthfield surname mean?

This unusual and interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from the place called Hartfield in East Sussex, near the town of East Grinstead. The place is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as `Hertevel` and `hertefeld`, and means `the open land frequented by stags`, derived from the Old English pre 7th Century `heorot`, hart, stag, with `feld`, pasture, open country, land cleared of forest but not yet brought into cultivation. Locational surnames were acquired especially by those former inhabitants of a place who had moved to another area, and were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace. The surname development includes Madline Hartefeilde (1588, Surrey), and Ann Hortefield (1694, Kent), while the modern surname can be found as Hartfield, Heartfield and (H)earthfield. The marriage of Joan Heartfield and William Ornoy was recorded in Rumboldswyke, Sussex, on April 4th 1689. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Hartfeld (christening), which was dated March 8th 1559, at East Grinstead, Sussex, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as `Good Queen Bess`, 1558 - 1603. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to `develop` often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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