Recorded in various spelling forms which now include Schofield and Scholefield, this is a Northern English surname. It is locational from a now "lost" medieval village, believed to have been in the county palatine of Lancashire, although the popularity of the name in Yorkshire also suggests a "lost" source there as well. The derivation is from the pre 7th century Olde English words "schole" meaning a hut or shed used in the summer grazing months, and "feld", a pasture or open country suitable forr grazing. Locational surnames usually developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. Spelling being at best erratic and local accents very thick, lead to the development of alternate spellings. Recordings taken from the early surviving church registers of the diocese of Greater London include: Ann Schofield, who was christened at St. Lawrence Jewry, on April 23rd 1572, and another Ann Schofield, who married Samuel Rowland at the famous church of St. Marylebone, on December 4th 1769. An interesting namebearer, recorded in the "Dictionary of National Biography", was William Scholefield (1809 - 1867). He was the first mayor of the new city of Birmingham in 1838, and was also a radical M.P. for Birmingham from 1847 to 1867. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de Scholefeld. This was dated 1343, in the Chartulary of Whalley Abbey, Lancashire, during the reign of King Edward 111rd of England, Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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