Recorded in a number of spellings including Sommerfeld and Somerfeld in Germany, and Somerfield, Sommerfield and the more usual Summerfield in England, this is almost certainly a surname of pre 7th century Germanic & Anglo-Saxon origins. It was residential and described a person who lived either at one of the several places in Germany called Sommerfeld or from Somerfield in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England, or from residence at a field or area of land used only for summer grazing, presumably in the uplands. The name is well recorded heraldically throughout Europe, coats of arms being granted to name holders from such diverse places as Norway, and in Germany, the former states and principalities of Hanover, Prussia, Silesia and Hamburg. In England the first church recordings are late 16th century, but this is probably because earlier records have either been lost or were non-existent. There has been a suggestion that the name came into England with the Huguenots refugees, or possibly in association with the acession to the English throne of King George 1st of Hanover, in 1715, but the earliest recordings pre-date these events. These early examples include William Somerfield, a witness at St Giles Church, Cripplegate, city of London, on New Year's day, in the year 1605, and William Summerfeild, who married Elizabeth Querton, at St James church, Clerkenwell, on January 23rd 1622. The first known recording in Germany is later still, Daniel Sommerfeldte being recorded in the registers of the town of Zullichau, Brandenberg, in 1649. Most German surnames are much earlier, suggesting again that registers or charters have been lost. The first recorded spelling that we have of the family name is that of John Sommerfylde, at the church of St Margaret's Westminster, on August 11th 1597, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st of England, 1558 - 1603. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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