This most interesting locational surname recorded as Passfield and Pasfield, is of pure Essex origins. It derives from a place formerly called in the 1086 Domesday Book 'Passefelda' but now apparently known as Paslow Hall, nearOngar, in Essex. Quite why the original name should have undergone such a metamorphis is not clear, however the surname at least maintains its antiquity. The name is believed to translate as 'the cleared land belonging to Passe', the latter being a personal name of French origin which meant 'Easter' and is still found in the modern French name 'Pascall'. Interestingly this name pre-dates the Norman Conquest of 1066, being recorded in the Anglo Saxon Rolls of 1062, and thereby showing that cross channel influences were already in place. Examples of the surname recording include William de Passefeld in the London Rolls of 1345, whilst John Passfield married Agnes Scrafyld at Danbury, Essex on January 23rd 1554. Later recordings are those of Joan Pasfield who married Henry Brand at Doddington on July 25th 1603, and George Passfield who married Thomazen Hethick at the church of St Mary at Hill, London, on July 2nd 1635. An interesting name holder was Robert Pasfield, circa 1590, who travelled England with the famous puritan preacher John Bruen, (1560 - 1625), the archetypal playboy turned religious extremist. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Andrew de Passefelde, which was dated 1214, the Kings Rolls of Essex, during the reign of King John, known as 'Lackland', 1199 - 1216. 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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