Early Origins of the Baifield family
The surname Baifield was first found in Norfolk
where they held a family seat
as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy
, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron
, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England
to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book
Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the under-tenant of the lands of Bayfield which were held by under-tenant Walter Giffard from the King (Duke William) and who was recorded in the Domesday Book
census of 1086. Walter (Gautier)Giffard was Count of Longueville, and his main seat was at Aveton Manor. He and his relations held many manors.
Early History of the Baifield family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Baifield research.Another 100 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1208, 1390, 1461, 1531, 1531 and 1668 are included under the topic Early Baifield History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Baifield Spelling Variations
Endless spelling variations
are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Bayfield, Baifield, Bafield, Bayfeld and others.
Early Notables of the Baifield family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Richard Bayfield (died 1531) was an English Protestant martyr. After exile to the Low Countries, he then returned to England
and was active in circulating the New Testament and other prohibited books, including the works of Luther, Zwingli and Melancthon. He was discovered... Another 51 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Baifield Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Baifield family to the New World and Oceana
To escape the political and religious persecution within England
at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Baifield or a variant listed above: Geo Bayfeild, who settled in Virginia in 1670; Jean Jaque Bavill, who settled in Nova Scotia in 1752; and J. Bayfeld, who arrived in New York, NY in 1864..