Recorded in several spelling forms including Bodfield, Botfeild, Botfield, Buttfield, Budfield and Badfield, this is believed to be an English locational surname. In County Durham there is a village called Buttsfield, which means the "field where the archery butts were placed". Whether the surname actually originated from this village is not proven, as it is not recorded in the county in any spelling. This in itself is not unusual in that locational surnames by their very nature were "from" names, that is given to people after they moved to another place. It was in ancient times, and to some extent remains so in the 20th century, that the easiest way to identify a "stranger" was to call him or her by the name of the place from whence they came. Archery was the national sport of the Middle Ages, proficiency being necessary both for military service, and in many cases, hunting for survival. Until the Elizabethan times archery had to be practised every Sunday by able bodied men, hence "the butts field". Early examples of the surname recording taken from surviving church registers include Johm Botfield, a witness at St Brides church, Fleet Street, London, on September 10th 1682, and Mary Bodfield, who married William Davies at the same church, on August 3rd 1731. The first known recording is probably that of Agnes Butfeild, who married Richard Babbington, at St Gregory's by St. Pauls, city of London, on June 28th 1573.
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