Atfield History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The ancestors of the name Atfield date back to the days of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from their residence in either of the places called Heathfield in Somerset or Sussex, or in one of the various settlements called Hatfield in Essex, Herefordshire, Nottinghamshire, Worcester, the East Riding of Yorkshire, or the North Riding of Yorkshire.
The place name literally means "heathy open land, or open land where heather grows," from the Old English "haeth" + "feld." The earliest village or parish with the name was registered in Saxon times in South Yorkshire in 731 when it was known as Haethfelth. 
One source claims the name was derived from "hat, hot, Saxon, and field-from the hot sandy soil"  and yet another claims the name was derived from the "Anglo-Saxon Hæðfeld = the Heath-Field." 
Another source claims the name was derived from the Old English "heathland, heather + feld" (pasture, open country) 
Early Origins of the Atfield family
The surname Atfield was first found in Colchester, Essex where William de Hatfield was listed there 1119-1127.  The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list William de Hatfield in Essex and Agnes de Hatfield in Cambridgeshire at that time. Years later, Johannes de Haytefeld was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379. 
Robert de Hattefeld was listed in the Feet of Fines for Yorkshire in 1343 and Thomas Hatfeld was listed in the Assize Rolls of London in 1412. 
Thomas of Hatfield (d. 1381), was Bishop of Durham, and thought to have been the second son of Walter of Hatfield in Holderness. He seems to have entered the king's service at an early age, and was Keeper of the Privy Seal in 1343. 
Early History of the Atfield family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Atfield research. Another 78 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1119, 1652, 1640, 1652 and 1652 are included under the topic Early Atfield History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Atfield Spelling Variations
Atfield has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Many variations of the name Atfield have been found, including Hatfield, Hatfeild, Hadfield and others.
Early Notables of the Atfield family (pre 1700)
Notables of this surname at this time include: Martha Hatfield (fl. 1652), 'The Wise Virgin,' daughter of Anthony Hatfield, by his wife Faith Westley, was born at Leighton, Yorkshire, 27 Sept. 1640. "The Hatfields were Puritans. In April 1652 Martha was seized with an illness which the physicians were unable to define, but which seems to have been a form of catalepsy. For seventeen days she lay stiff and was unable to speak, and it was said...
Another 76 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Atfield Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Atfield family to Ireland
Some of the Atfield family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Atfield family
In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Atfields to arrive on North American shores: George Hadfield who settled in New England in 1802; James, John, Robert and Thomas Hadfield arrived in Philadelphia between 1820 and 1860; Thomas and Grace Hatfeild settled in Virginia in 1653.
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- Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
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