Recorded in a number of diffused spellings including Benfield, Benfold, Benford, Bondfield, Bomfield, Bonfield and Bonnfield, this is an English surname, but one of Norman-French origins. It is an Invasion name, being associated with the Conquest of England in 1066. It originates from a Normandy village called Bonneville, literally 'good place' of which there are three, two near the city of Rouen. In England the surname is seemingly first recorded in the year 1131 when Richard de Bondavilla is shown as a landowner in County Durham, in the north east of England. Slightly later in the year 1197, Robert de Bonneville appears in the Pipe Rolls for the county of Yorkshire, where the name was prominent for several centuries. The change to the modern spelling forms took place over several centuries being caused by a combination of poor spelling and thick local dialects. Examples taken from surviving early church registers in the city of London and showing the development include Richard Bonfelt at St James Garlickhythe, on March 24th 1537, Edward Bonnfild on September 11th 1589, when he married Alice Monnislie at the church of St Katherines by the Tower (of London), Edwarde Benforde, a christening witness at the church of St Mary Somerset, on March 24th 1591, and Thomas Bonfield who married Ann Wood at St James church, Clerkenwell on August 4th 1602.
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