This most interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a topographical name given to a "dweller in or by the oaken field or Hoca's field", from the Olde English pre 7th Century "ac", oak, oaken, or an Olde English personal name "Hoca", and "feld", a field or open country, which became "-full" and "-fold" in the south-east of England. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. The surname itself is first recorded in the late 13th Century (see below), while one Joan Okenfold married William Maxsted on November 24th 1566, at Boughton Under Blean, in Kent. William Okenfold married Margaret Juce on January 21st 1582, at Boughton Under Blean, and Ann Oakenfull married John Causten at Borden, Kent, on October 9th 1592. In London, Sibella, daughter of John and Elizabeth Ockenfeild was christened on July 19th 1668, at St. Giles', Cripplegate. Thomas Oakinfold married Elizabeth Spillett on September 17th 1787, at Faversham, Kent. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam de Oakefeld, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Norfolk", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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