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 in England from Somerfield in the West Riding of Yorkshire, or from residence at a field or area of land used only for summer grazing, presumably in the highland and 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. However the situation in Germany is even worse. The first known recording being that of Daniel Sommerfeldte in the registers of the town of Zullichau, Brandenberg, in 1649, suggesting that the effects of war and neglect have had an even worse effect there. Recordings of the name in England include William Somfeld at the famous church of St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, in 1721, and Bernhard Sommerfeld, who married Louisa Von Bibra at St Pancras Old Church, London, in 1849. 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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