Attfield History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Of all the Anglo-Saxon names to come from Britain, Attfield is one of the most ancient. The name is a result of the original family having lived 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. [1]

One source claims the name was derived from "hat, hot, Saxon, and field-from the hot sandy soil" [2] and yet another claims the name was derived from the " Anglo-Saxon Hæðfeld = the Heath-Field." [3]

Another source claims the name was derived from the Old English "heathland, heather + feld" (pasture, open country) [4]

Early Origins of the Attfield family

The surname Attfield was first found in Colchester, Essex where William de Hatfield was listed there 1119-1127. [5] 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. [6]

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. [5]

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. [7]

Early History of the Attfield family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Attfield research. Another 78 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1119, 1652, 1640, 1652 and 1652 are included under the topic Early Attfield History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Attfield Spelling Variations

The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Attfield has been spelled many different ways, including Hatfield, Hatfeild, Hadfield and others.

Early Notables of the Attfield 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 Attfield Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Attfield family to Ireland

Some of the Attfield 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.


Australia Attfield migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Attfield Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Charles Attfield, English convict from Surrey, who was transported aboard the "Adelaide" on August 08, 1849, settling in Van Diemen's Land and Port Phillip, Australia [8]

HMS Royal Oak
  • Henry George Attfield (1906-1939), born in Stoek Newington, London, England, British Petty Officer with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [9]


  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  3. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  4. ^ Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8)
  5. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  6. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  7. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  8. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 17) Adelaide voyage to Van Diemen's Land and Port Phillip, Australia in 1849 with 303 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/adelaide/1849
  9. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html


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