This interesting surname with variant spellings Canwell, Camfield, Camfyld, etc. is an Anglicized form of the French locational name Canville-les-Deux-Eglises (Seine-Inferieure). The surname dates back to the mid 12th Century, (see below). Further recordings include one Richard de Canuilla (1155) "St. Benet of Holme, Norfolk", and Thomas Camuithe (1327) "The Subsidy Rolls of Sussex". Church recordings include Alce Camffeild who married Simon White on April 24th 1605, at St. Olaves, Hart Street, London, Edward, son of Thomas and Mary Camfeild, was christened on December 5th 1657, at St.Botolph without Aldergate, London, and Charles, son of John and Elizabeth Camfield, was christened on July 15th 1727 at St. James, Clerkenwell, London. One Benedict Camfield (1563-1611) was a Capuchin Friar of Essex. A coat of arms was granted to a Norfolk family which consists of a black engrailed fret on a silver shield. The crest being the top half of a lady coming out of a tower proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Camuilla, which was dated 1148, Eynsham Cartulary, during the reign of King Stephen "Count of Blois", 1135 - 1154. 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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