This interesting surname is of English locational origin from one of the many places thus called , e.g. Northfield in Worcestershire, recorded as "Nordfeld" in the Domesday Book of 1086. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century elements "north" meaning north plus "feld" open country or pasture; hence "north pasture". Locational names were originally given as a means of identification to those who left their village or place of origin to settle elsewhere. It may also be a topographical name for someone who lived in a field north of the settlement. Topographical names were created as both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. The surname is first recorded in the mid 18th Century (see below). Recordings of the surname from London church registers include; John, son of John and Mary Northfield, who was christened on June 23rd 1751, at St. James' Church, Clerkenwell and John Northfield married Elizabeth Stanford at St. Leonard's Church, Shoreditch on January 8th 1778. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Northfield which was dated April 8th 1750, witness at christening in "St. James' Church, Clerkenwell, London", during the reign of King George 11, known as "The Last Warrior King", 1727 - 1760. 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.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017