This is an English locational surname of late medieval origins. It originates from any one of the three villages called Suffield, in the counties of Yorkshire, Essex, and Norfolk, or possibly Suffield Park, a seemingly "lost" village, formerly near Cromer in Norfolk. The place name and hence the later surname derives from the Olde English pre 7th century "sud" meaning south and "felda", an open area of land cleared for agriculture, a meaning rather different from the Middle English "field", which means an enclosed space. This is a good example of how meanings can change completely over a period of time. Locational surnames were usually given either to the original lords of the manor, or more often to former villagers who left their former homes, and moved elesewhere. "Elsewhere" could be the next village or as afr away as London, but in either case the easiest form of identification was to call a stranger by the name of the place from whence he or she came. This often lead to variant spellings and in this case these include Suffeilde and Sufeild, as shown below. Early examples taken from surviving church registers include Mary Suffield, the daighter of Philip Suffield, christened at St James church, Clerkenwell, on December 7th 1684, and Matilda Suffield, the daughter of Henry Thomas Suffield, and his wife Elizabeth, at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, London, on July 4th 1831. The earliest recording of the surname may be that of Joanna Suffeilde, at the church of St John's Timberhill, Norwich, on August 10th 1567.
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