Offield

Offield - what does Offield surname mean?

This name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is locational from any of the various places thus called, for example, Oldfield in Yorkshire, Worcestershire and Cheshire. The name, in all cases derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century `eald` meaning `old`, plus `feld`, translating variously as `pasture, open country` or `land free from wood`; hence, `the old pasture land`. Because Allfield in Shropshire and Alfell Farm in Elmstead, Essex, are identical in origin with the above, the names Oldfield, Offield, Allfield and Ofield, are grouped together. The surname was first recorded in the early half of the 13th Century (see below), and other early recordings include: Adam del Oldefeld, who appeared in the 1297 Subsidy Rolls of Yorkshire, and Ricardus de Oldefelde, recorded in the 1315 Hundred Rolls of Gloucestershire. The first recording of the name in Cheshire was that of John del Oldefeld (1438). An interesting namebearer, recorded in the `Dictionary of National Biography`, was John Oldfield (1689 - 1863), a general who made sketch plans of Waterloo for Wellington and took part in the battle. A Coat of Arms granted to a family of the name from Chester is a silver shield, on a red bend three crosses pattee fitchee of the field, the Crest being out of a gold ducal coronet, a demi wivern, wings displayed silver. The Motto, `In cruce vincam`, translates as, `I shall conquer in the cross`. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Agnes de Aldefeld, which was dated 1221, in the `Ely Diocesan Reigistry`, Suffolk, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as `The Frenchman`, 1216 - 1272. 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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