Banfield History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the bearers of the Banfield family name are thought have lived in ancient Anglo-Saxon England. They were first found in one of two villages called Bamfyld in the counties of Devon and Somerset. The place names literally mean "dweller at a field where beans grew." [1] [2]

Early Origins of the Banfield family

The surname Banfield was first found in Devon, at Poltimore where John Baumfield was the original ancestor of this family having been granted lands there during the reign of Edward I. His pedigree can be traced for three generations before that period. [3] The family were bequeathed the manor of Poltimore in 1298 by William Pontyngton, Canon of Exeter Cathedral. Today Poltimore House is a 18th-century country house having gone through many changes from the original grant. The current iteration of Poltimore House was built by Richard Bampfylde (d.1595) about 1550 or so.

Banwell is a village and civil parish on the River Banwell in the North Somerset and dates back to Saxon times when it was first listed as Bananwylle in 904. [4]

By the time the Domesday Book of 1086, the place name has evolved to being known as Banwelle. [5] "The manor has been in the possession of the bishops of Bath and Wells since the time of Edward the Confessor. A monastery was founded at Banwell by one of the early Saxon kings, to the abbacy of which Alfred the Great appointed Asser." [6]

"The Bampfyldes have been settled at Poltimore, [East Devon] since the reign of Edward I., and entered the ranks of the baronetage in 1641. Sir John Bampfylde became for a time Governor on behalf of the Parliament of the town of Plymouth, and his son, Sir Copleston Bampfylde, took a leading part in the restoration of Charles II. The family were raised to the peerage as Barons Poltimore in 1831. Among the houses with which the Bampfyldes are allied, or whom they represent, are Pederton, St. Maure, Copleston, Codrington, and Gorges. " [7]

Early English rolls provide us a glimpse of the spelling variations used through Medieval times. Today we typically need to look beyond the spellings of these entries and concentrate on on a phonetic appreciation of the names. Richard de Bamfeld was found in Hertfordshire in 1272 and Thomas Bamfeld was found here in 1462. Matthew Bampfeld was listed in the Feet of Fines for Essex in 1492 and laster, John Bampfyld was registered in Devon in 1642. [8]

Early History of the Banfield family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Banfield research. Another 119 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1272, 1462, 1492, 1575, 1581, 1582, 1642, 1752, 1766, 1560, 1626, 1597, 1585, 1621, 1622, 1628, 1629, 1683, 1633, 1692, 1659, 1671, 1679, 1685, 1679 and 1658 are included under the topic Early Banfield History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Banfield Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Banfield include Bamfield, Bammfield, Bramfield, Bamfeld, Bampfeld, Bampfield, Banfilde, Bampfild, Bampfyld, Bamfeild, Banfield and many more.

Early Notables of the Banfield family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Richard de Bamfield, a prominent 13th century landholder in Hertfordshire; Sir Amyas Bampfylde (1560-1626), an English Member of Parliament, Member of Parliament for Devon (1597); his son, John Bampfield (born ca. 1585), an English politician, Member of Parliament for Tiverton (1621-1622) and Devon (1628-1629) with Sir Francis Drake; and...
Another 55 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Banfield Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Banfield Ranking

In the United States, the name Banfield is the 14,419th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [9] However, in Newfoundland, Canada, the name Banfield is ranked the 425th most popular surname with an estimated 110 people with that name. [10]


United States Banfield migration to the United States +

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Banfield or a variant listed above:

Banfield Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • James Banfield, who arrived in America in 1765 [11]
Banfield Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Banfield, (b. 1809), aged 33, Cornish labourer departing from Penzance aboard the ship "Triton" arriving in the United States on 11 May 1842 [12]
  • Mrs. Sarah Banfield, (b. 1810), aged 32, Cornish settler departing from Penzance aboard the ship "Triton" arriving in the United States on 11 May 1842 [12]
  • Miss Elizabeth Banfield, (b. 1836), aged 6, Cornish settler departing from Penzance aboard the ship "Triton" arriving in the United States on 11 May 1842 [12]
  • Miss Sarah Banfield, (b. 1838), aged 4, Cornish settler departing from Penzance aboard the ship "Triton" arriving in the United States on 11 May 1842 [12]
  • Miss Grace Banfield, (b. 1841), aged 1, Cornish settler departing from Penzance aboard the ship "Triton" arriving in the United States on 11 May 1842 [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Banfield Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mrs. Banfield, (b. 1872), aged 31, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "Philadelphia" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 18th April 1903 en route to Auburn, New York USA [13]
  • Mr. Richard J Banfield, (b. 1879), aged 24, Cornish mariner travelling aboard the ship "Philadelphia" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 18th April 1903 en route to Auburn, New York USA [13]

Australia Banfield migration to Australia +

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

Banfield Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Hewit Banfield, a cooper, who arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Thomas Banfield, a cooper, who arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Mr. Thomas Banfield, British convict who was convicted in Kent, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Henry Tanner" on 27th June 1834, settling in New South Wales, Australia [14]
  • Mr. Thomas Banfield, (b. 1827), aged 22, Cornish farm labourer travelling aboard the ship "Duchess of Northum" arriving in Port Phillip, New South Wales, Australia on 15th January 1849 [15]
  • Mr. Thomas Banfield, (b. 1827), aged 22 , Cornish agricultural labourer departing from Plymouth on 10th October 1848 aboard the ship "Duchess of Northumberland" arriving in Port Phillip, Cornwall, UK on 15th January 1849 [16]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Banfield migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Banfield Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Catherine Banfield, (b. 1848), aged 27, Cornish dairymaid departing on 7th September 1875 aboard the ship "Waitangi" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 7th December 1878 [17]

Contemporary Notables of the name Banfield (post 1700) +

  • Edward C Banfield (1916-1999), American political scientist, who spent most of his career at Harvard
  • Thomas Jacob Banfield (b. 1895), American Democratic Party politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Chemung County, 1934; Defeated, 1934; Chair of Chemung County Democratic Party, 1942 [18]
  • Thomas Harry Banfield (1885-1950), American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Oregon, 1940 [18]
  • Mildred H. Banfield, American Republican politician, Member of Alaska State House of Representatives 4th District, 1973-74 [18]
  • John Banfield Jr., American politician, U.S. Consular Agent in Isles of Scilly, 1884-98; SAINT Mary's, 1905 [18]
  • Fred Banfield, American Republican politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Texas 4th District, 1964 [18]
  • Edith D. Banfield, American Republican politician, Elected New Hampshire State House of Representatives from Moultonborough 1938; Delegate to New Hampshire State Constitutional Convention from Moultonborough, 1948 [18]
  • Dorothy Banfield, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Texas, 1988 [18]
  • Charles W. Banfield, American Republican politician, Candidate in primary for New Hampshire State Senate 4th District, 1938 [18]
  • Gottfried von Banfield (1890-1986), Austro-Hungarian pilot of the First World War, later businessman
  • ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Hood
  • Mr. Kenneth J Banfield (b. 1922), English Boy 1st Class serving for the Royal Navy from Aldingbourne, Sussex, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [19]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Terance Banfield, British Ordnance Artificer, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [20]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Frederick James Banfield (d. 1912), aged 28, English Second Class passenger from Plymouth, Devon who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [21]


  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  3. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  4. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  5. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  6. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  7. ^ Worth, R.N., A History of Devonshire London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E.G., 1895. Digital
  8. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  9. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  10. ^ The order of Common Surnames in 1955 in Newfoundland retrieved on 20th October 2021 (retrieved from Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland by E.R. Seary corrected edition ISBN 0-7735-1782-0)
  11. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  12. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to New York 1820 - 1891 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_new_york_1820_1891.pdf
  13. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retreived 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_ellis_island_1892_on.pdf
  14. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th January 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/henry-tanner
  15. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, May 30). Ships' Passenger Lists of Arrivals in New South Wales on (1828 - 1842, 1848 - 1849) [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_nsw_1838_on.pdf
  16. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retreived 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_victoria.pdf
  17. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to Lyttelton 1858-84 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf
  18. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 11) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  19. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  20. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  21. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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