This interesting surname of English origin with variant spellings Layfield, Leighfirld, Leyfield, Lyfield, etc., is a locational name from a place called Leyfields in Nottinghamshire, meaning "dweller by the lea-field, the pasture, the grass-land". The surname dates back to the mid 14th Century, (see below). Further recordings include one William Leyfeld (1484), "The Calendar of Letter Books of the City of London". Church recordings of London include one John, son of Edward Layfield, who was christened in 1560, in London, Agnes laifeld married Richard Fowks on September 1st 1561, at Harrow on the Hill, London, and Cornelius, son of Edward Layfeilde, was christened at St. Martin Orgar and St. Clement Eastcheap, London, on July 4th 1573. Nicholas Layfield married Joan Wettwood on November 1581 at St. Lawrence Jewry and St. Mary Magdalene, Milk St. London. One Ann Layfield, an emigrant to the New World, sailed aboard the George bound for Virginia on August 21st 1635. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugo Layfeld, which was dated 1442, in the "Register of the Freemen of the City of York", during the reign of King Henry V1, known as "The Founder of Eton", 1422 - 1461. 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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