This is an English and Kentish locational surname. Recorded in a number of spellings including Matfield, Metfield, and even Mutfield, although this may be extinct, it is locational from the little town of Matfield, in the county of Kent. As Mattefeld, the place is first recorded in the year 1230, and there is some differences of opinion as to the actual meaning. What is not argued is that a 'feld' in ancient times was not a field, but almost the opposite, being an open range more akin in meaning to the word 'veldt' as used to describe great areas of grazing land. In Hampshire there was an ancient tribe called the Matta people, and it is possible that this tribe may also have occupied lands in Kent some fifty to seventy miles away and given it their name. 'Mat' may also be a development of the ancient word 'moot' meaning a place where tribes gathered to hold their local parliaments and moot courts. This is certainly the case with Matlock in Derbyshire and could apply to Matfield. There are no early recordingfs in Kent that we have been able to find, however examples of the surname recording taken from surviving church registers in the city of London include Jane Matfield who married Thomas Sayer at t Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on January 27th 1618, John Mutfield at St Andrews Holborn, on October 8th 1753.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017