Recorded in many spelling forms including Scourfield, Scorfield, and Scurfield, this is an English surname. It is locational from what would seem to be a "lost" medieval village, either that or it is a transposed spelling of another surname. The obvious choice for the latter, given the similarity of spelling, and the likely meaning of the name, are the popular surnames Schofield or Scholefield, both of which definately originate from lost hamlets in Lancashire and possibly Yorkshire. The conclusive evidence is that this surname in its varied spellings, may be from the same source.If so the origination would seem to be the Olde English words "schole" meaning a building used as shelter during the summer months, and "feld" an area of open country suitable for grazing. The taking of the cattle to upper lands for grazing largely ceased in England after the Enclosure Acts of the 16th century. At this time the common lands were effectively seized by landowners, and with changes in agricultural practices, were generally turned over to other uses particularly sheep farming, but also hunting and shooting. At the sametime the now traditional stone walls were built, which are today such a feature of the northern counties. In consequence outlying hamlets which relied on the common grazing, were abandoned, and this seems to have been the fate of the "Scholefields". Early examples of this surname include: John de Scholefeld, in the register of the abbey of Whalley, Lancashire, in 1343, Cutbert Scurfield, who married Alse Collier at St Margarets, Westminster, on January 27th 1584, and William Scourfield, a witness at St Mary Whitechapel, Stepney, on February 1st 1783.
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