This is a Northern English locational name, of Anglo-Saxon origin, from any of the various minor places in Lancashire and elsewhere. The name derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "schole" meaning a "hut" or "shed", and "feld", pasture, or open country. The name means "dweller by a field with a hut", and is first recorded towards the middle of the 14th Century (see below). Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. Alternate spellings of the name have included: Scofeld (1561) and Schofeld (1592); both of these spellings being recorded in the Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire. Recordings from London Church Registers include: Ann Schofield, who was christened at St. Lawrence Jewry and St. Mary Magdalene, Milk Street, on April 23rd 1572, while one Ann Schofield married Samuel Rowland at St. Marylebone, Mary St., on December 4th 1769. An interesting namebearer, recorded in the "Dictionary of National Biography", was William Scholefield (1809 - 1867), who became the first mayor of Birmingham in 1838, and was also a radical M.P. for Birmingham in 1847, 1852, and from 1857 to 1867. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de Scholefeld, which was dated 1343, in the "Chartulary of Whalley Abbey", Lancashire, during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "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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