This apparently English surname has a very confusing origin. There does not seem ever to have been a place called 'Caulfield', and the original recording of the name is as 'Calfehill'. To add to the confusion we have been unable to find such a place either, the nearest being 'Calfhalle' a lost village in Cheshire but recorded there in 1315. The surname when found in Ireland, can either be a very unusual variant spelling of the Irish MacCawell, or it may have English origins, from the English 'planter' family first recorded there in 1607. In the period after the 1650 Cromwellian invasion it was usual in Ireland to anglicise from the Gaelic to an English form of spelling, but 'Caulfield' is an extreme example of the genre. It would seem that the original meaning of 'Caulfield' was the 'the place where calves grazed', which was presumably different from where the more mature beasts spent their time! In Ireland the original name holders prospered being granted estates in Ulster which had an area of 26000 acres in 1880. James Caulfield (1728 - 1799) was the 1st Earl of Charlemont, whilst other name holders included another James Caulfield (1740 - 1810) Catholic Bishop of Ferns, and Richard Caulfield of Castlecaufield, (1823 - 1887). The coat of arms has the blazon of barry of ten silver and red, on a canton of the second a lion passant. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Sir Toby Caulfield, which was dated 1565, Baptised in Oxford with the surname "Calfehill", during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess" 1558 - 1603. 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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