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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Canfield family come from? What is the English Canfield family crest and coat of arms? When did the Canfield family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Canfield family history?

The name Canfield reached England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Canfield family lived in Yorkshire. The Canfield family descended from Richard de Camville, who owned estates in both England and France after the invasion in 1066, and gave his name to the area of Yorkshire in which his family settled. In the centuries following the Conquest of England by the Normans, the languages of the natives and their conquerors intermingled and the surname Camville changed to the more English sounding Canfield.

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Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Canfield family name include Canfield, Camville, Canville, Canfeld, Cannfield, Camnville and many more.

First found in Yorkshire where they had been granted lands by William the Conqueror for their assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D. Today, Great Canfield is a village and a civil parish in the Uttlesford District of Essex, home to the Great Canfield Castle. Little Canfield is a village and a civil parish which is also located in Essex.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Canfield research. Another 321 words(23 lines of text) covering the years 1066 and 1455 are included under the topic Early Canfield History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Canfield Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Canfield family to immigrate North America:

Canfield Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Thomas Canfield, who arrived in Connecticut in 1634
  • Matthew Canfield and his brother Thomas landed in North America in 1620 and settled in New Haven. Matthew was a representative at the General Court in 1654 until the union of the Connecticut and New Haven colonies, and Thomas was one of the first settlers of Milford in 1646

Canfield Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • James Canfield, who arrived in Savanna(h), Georgia in 1825
  • Henry Canfield, who arrived in Texas in 1835
  • Henry G Canfield, who arrived in Mobile County, Ala in 1840
  • Patrick Canfield, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1844
  • John Canfield, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1846


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  • Cass Canfield (1897-1986), senior editor for "Harper and Row", and Chairman of "Harper's Magazine"
  • Trevor Canfield (b. 1986), American NFL football guard
  • Richard Albert Canfield (1855-1914), American businessman and art collector who held the second largest collecton of Whistler paintings
  • Brady Canfield (b. 1963), American skeleton racer
  • Harry Clifford Canfield (1875-1945), U.S. Representative from Indiana
  • Donald Canfield (b. 1958), American ocean geologist, eponym of the Canfield ocean
  • Jack Canfield (b. 1944), American motivational speaker and author
  • James Hulme Canfield (1847-1909), fourth President of The Ohio State University
  • Mary Grace Canfield (1924-2014), American actress, known for her roles in The Andy Griffith Show and her recurring role on the hit CBS comedy series, Green Acres where her signature, "Howdie Doodie!" introduced each appearance


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  1. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  2. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  3. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  4. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  5. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  6. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  7. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  8. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  9. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  10. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The Canfield Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Canfield Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 5 June 2014 at 21:39.

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