Recorded in several spellings including Shinfield, Shinefield and Shingfield, this is an Enlish pre 7th century locational surname. It originates either from the Essex village of 'Shenfield' recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book as 'Scynfeld' or from a now 'lost' medieval village. Some five thousand British Isles surnames do originate from places whose only memory in the 20th century is the surviving surname, often in a wide range of spellings. In this case the make up of the surname suggest that the original meaning was 'beautiful area', from the ancient word 'scyne' meaning 'beautiful' plus the word 'feld'. In olden times 'feld' did not have quite the same meaning as the modern fenced 'field', but was a large open area of land, although one that was intended for agriculture having been cleared of trees and other obstacles. Early examples of the surname recording include: George Shingfield, a witness at the church of St Giles Cripplegate, city of London, on February 23rd 1672, and Morris Shinefield, who married Dora Vanderman at Mile End Old Town chapel, East London, on February 9th 1896.
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