This very intriguing and long-established surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a dialectal variant of the locational name Hatfield, from various places so called in, for example, Essex, recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Hadfelda"; Hertfordshire, also recorded in the Domesday Book as "Hetfelle"; Nottinghamshire, found as "Haytfeld" in the Hundred Rolls of 1275; and in Hereford, recorded as "Hetfelde" in the Domesday Book. The derivation of the placename is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "harth", heather, or other similar plants, with the second element "feld", pasture, except the places in Nottinghamshire and in Yorkshire, whose first element show an influence of the Old Scandinavian "heithr", heath. 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, usually in search of work, and were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace. Recordings from Nottinghamshire Church Registers include the marriage of Robert Hatfull and Dianna Clark on June 3rd 1643, at Balderton. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Tata aet Haethfelda, which was dated circa 1050, in "Old English Bynames", during the reign of King Edward, known as "The Confessor", 1042 - 1066. 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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