This interesting and unusual name is of Anglo-Saxon origin and is a locational name from a place called Pilfolds near Horsham, Sussex. The derivation is from the Old English pre 7th Century "pil", meaning a pointed stick or stake, with "feld", an open space or field, perhaps enclosed by such stakes. During the Middle Ages as it became increasingly common for people to migrate from their place of origin, often to seek work elsewhere the custom evolved of adopting the village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. The following examples illustrate the name development after 1327 (see below), Alys Pylfolde (1553, Sussex), Agnes Pilfold (1559, Horsham, Sussex), Harrye Pillfoulde (1564, Warnham, Sussex), James Pillfold (1567, Horsham, Sussex). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Pilefold, which was dated 1327, Subsidy Rolls of Sussex, during the reign of King Edward 111, "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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