This unusual and interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin and is a topographical surname denoting "residence by or in the field at the edge of the village or settlement". The derivation is from the Old English pre 7th Century word "rand", meaning brink, edge or margin, with "feld", meaning variously, open country, land free from wood, or plain. The term "feld" is usually found in areas of old forest and indeed the modern surname. Ranfield, also found as Renfield and Ransfield is well recorded in the originally forested areas of Northamptonshire and Yorkshire. The marriage of Priscila Ranfield and Christopher Parsonson was recorded on the 25th May 1630 at Wadworth near Doncaster, Yorkshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Ransfield married Ann Sykes, which was dated 31st July 1569, at Snaith, Yorkshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as Good Queen Bess, 1558 - 1603. 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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