This surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from any of the various places thus called, named with the Old English pre 7th century, "west" meaning "west" and "feld", parture, open country, as opposed on the one hand to "aecer", cultivated soil, enclosed land, and on the other to "weald", wooded land, uncleared forest. These places include: Westfield in Surrey, in North Somerset, near Winchcomb in Gloucestershire, near East Dereham, Norfolk, and in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Locational surnames were originally given to the Lord of the Manor, or as a means of identification to those who left their place of origin to settle elsewhere. Occasionally, the surname may be topographical for someone who lived on pasture land to the west of a main settlement. On January 15th 1548 Elizabeth Westfield and John Foster were married at St. Mary Magdalene, Bermondsey, London. A notable bearer of the name was Thomas Westfield (1573 - 1644), created doctor of Divinity, Cambridge 1615, and bishop of Bristol, 1642. His Coat of Arms depicts a cross between four golden garbs on a red shield. The main family Coat of Arms is also red, with six black catherine wheels on a silver fess between as many billets of the last. In heraldry, the Catherine Wheel is emblematic of one prepared to undergo great trials for the Christian faith, and the billets are believed to represent building bricks or the letters of a scribe. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Westerfyld, which was dated January 1547, in "Christening Records of St. Margaret's, Westminster, during the reign of Henry V111, known as "Bluff King Hal", 1509 - 1547. 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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