Recorded as Tranfield, Trenfield, Tronfield, Trunfield, and Trunkfield, this is an English locational surname. It originates either from a lost medieval village probably originally called 'Treanta -feld' or similar, and describing a place near one of the river Trents, as in Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, or Dorset. In this case 'feld' does not mean field as we know it, but probably referred to a large expanse of unfenced land, which was suitable for grazing. Lying near a river it would probably have been flooded in winter, and hence was used for summer grazing. In the period between the 15th and 18th centuries however much of England which was low lying, was drained by Dutch engineers. This made it suitable for all the year round use, but as a result many hundreds or possibly thousands of small villages, were themselves also 'cleared' to create the early 'ranches.' These sadly continue to desicrate much of the countryside of East Anglia, and the former fen country today. In this case we have early examples of recordings in the surviving registers of the city of London. These include Anne Trannefield at the church of St Mary Whitechapel, Stepney, on July 5th 1561, William Trunfild at the famous church of St Mary-le-Bone in the city of London on April 19th 1768, and John Trenfield at the same church on May 11th 1781.
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