This interesting surname, with variant spelling Pinfold, derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "pundfald", (medieval English "punfold"), meaning a pound where stray animals were kept, and was originally given either as a metonymic occupational name to someone in charge of such a pen or pound, or as a topographical name to one who lived by this man-made feature. 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.One Philip de la Pundfold and a Roger de la Pundfaude appear respectively in the 1275 Hundred Rolls of Sussex and Oxfordshire. Further early recordings from Sussex include Thomas ate Pundfolde (1296), and John Pennefold (1332). On January 24th 1590, Ann, daughter of John Pinfold, was christened at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London and on March 28th 1665 An(n) Penfold and Hendory Smith were married in Sunbury on Thames, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert del Punfold, which was dated 1273, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk", 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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