This rare and long-established surname is a dialectal transposition of the locational name Duffield, from a place called Duffield in Derbyshire, or from North and South Duffield in the East Riding of Yorkshire. All the placenames derive from the Old Norse "dufa", a dove, and the Olde English pre 7th Century "feld", pasture. Locational surnames, such as this, were usually acquired by a local landowner, or by the lord of the manor, and especially by those former inhabitants of a place who had moved to another area, and were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace. Usually, the further away one moved the more the spelling was transposed, thus Duffield has been recorded as Dewfall, Dewfill, Diffell, Duffell, Duffil, and even Duffit. Early recordings from church registers include the marriage of John Duffell and Elzabeth Barker at St Antholins Church, London, in 1722, and the christening of John Dewfall, the son of John and Barbara Dewfall, at All Hallows, Bread Street, London, on May 5th 1760. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger de Duffield, which was dated 1170, in the "Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as the Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017