Last name: Butterfield

This very interesting surname is locational and derives from a 'lost' hamlet which was originally on the border of the West Riding of Yorkshire and Lancashire, near Todmorden. The modern surname is almost equally recorded in both counties, although almost all very early recordings are from Yorkshire, except oddly the very first as shown below. The development is the from the Olde English pre 7th century 'butor' meaning a bittern, a bird of the heron family renowned for its call at mating time, whilst the ancient 'feld' originally described an open area, one which had been cleared for agriculture. Paradoxically the later middle English 12th century 'field' actually describes a 'fenced area'. The early registers for the original 1379 Poll Tax include those of Willelmus de Bottesfeld and Isabella Botterfeld, both of the county of York, whilst in 1423 William de Butterfield (also recorded as Boterfeld) appears in the Wills List deposited at Chester, which suggests that he was from Lancashire or Cheshire. The Coat of Arms granted to the family has the blazon of a red field charged with a gold griffin segreant. The modern spelling forms also included Butterfint and Butterfill, whilst amongst the famous name holders are Swithun Butterfield of Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, who is believed to have influenced Oliver Cromwell towards puritanism, and Robert Butterfield, also of Cambridge at the same time. The name has a long association with Universities as two hundred and fifty years later William Butterfield was, in 1876, the architect of Keble College, Oxford. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugh de Buteresfeld, which was dated 1199, in the pipe rolls of Buckinghamshire, during the reign of King John, known as 'Lackland', 1199 - 1216. 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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And by the way ... Butterfield, is english as Rick explained. Patricia and Jonathan and Katherine Emily, we could be related ..... Check it out !!!


Francis Butterfield, 1771 from Bradford, Yorkshire is the oldest ancestor I can find. His son wandered out to Australia, died on the Bass Strait at sea, leaving a wife and two children. One of his sons, Francis Johnson Butterfield born in Hobart was quite a lad and chased gold. He ended up in Dunedin N.Z. is my g.g. Grandfather. He married Catherine Frederic. Together they started the oldest furniture factory in N.Z. I live in Norway, but will be spending Xmas close by (2 hours). Will visit the Bradford Church and try and find a grave. Anybody know any if this family who still live in the area .... ???

I'm a Butterfield from WA State, USA. We appear to be everywhere!

Susan Lesley
John Warren Butterfield founded the companies that became American Express and Wells Fargo in the 18th centuary..Also ran freight across from St Louis to San Fransisco.. in 1970 BUtterfield was a telephone exchange on Manhattan the code was BU for the classy parts of Manhattan..Famous film Butterfield8 staring Liz taylor, Also a department store in New York that was located in the shopping precinct under the twin towers .But Im from Yorkshire and a Butterfield, so the name could actually be American and not English..Who knows...

Wow I'm amazed at how many Butterfield's are out there I didn't think it was a very popular name. I live in Australia and there isn't many I know of here besides my immediate family.

This is really interesting, I'm a Butterfield too, first generation New Zealand one :) Dad always says we came from Yorkshire

Jonathan Butterfield
Awesome i'm a butterfield from west yorkshire: looks like we've moved alot in the last 1000 years!

I never knew there were so many Butterfields. Ive never met any others but my family. That might be because i live in California. I thought it wasnt that common of a name. My friends call it a Dr. Suess last name but i always thought it was Irish or something seeing as how my family is Irish. But it could also be German. Im still stunned at how many Butterfields thdre are! I used to think we were alone on the west coast

christian paul butterfield
any one know of a bryan butterfield that married caroline hinchliffe they went on to have three children alistair, gillian and christopher as im trying to build a family tree for my daughter for when she grows up many thanks christian paul butterfield

aha well maybe not then

if your grandparents came from rhonsdadt in germany then yes we are related.

Katherine emily butterfield
Our last name is awesome! I live in ilkley in Yorkshire I reckon in some way were related.

jason my grandparents came from germany and their last name was butterfield as is mine so start your search in the ipswich area of queensland

Yes but as both "butter" and "field" are english words, not German, it's obviously an English name not a German one

Completely inaccurate and useless when it comes to what I want to find out. My great grandparents (whos last name was Butterfield) came from Germany, NOT england.


well this will blow up your minds, i´m from Mexico and my last name is Butterfield

That is my last name too. All of my friends are jealous of my name.

My great Uncle was Frederick Butterfield of Harrogate, Yorkshire - he lived to be 110 years of age and , in those times was Britain's oldest man - Wikipidia even puts him down as the oldest man n the world for that time....! Any known relations of Fred Butterfield who would be interested in getting in touch ?

Patricia Butterfield
My grandfathers name is also Fredrick Butterfield

Rashea Butterfield
My Last Name is Butterfield and I live in the Bahamas and I have Family In Turks & Caicos too.

Arron Butterfield
Very interesting... I live in Medford Oregon

I have the last name Butterfield, i also live in New Hampshire. I feel like i might have to go travel to find other people with the same last name.

Jacob Butterfield

I'm also a butterfield from West Yorkshire and thinking of starting up a family tree can anyone help?