Bifield History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The present generation of the Bifield family is only the most recent to bear a name that dates back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name comes from having lived in Northamptonshire, where the name is associated with the village of Byfield. In the Domesday Book of 1086, Byfield was recorded as lands held by Hugh de Grandmesnil and Earl Hugh. [1]

The place name literally means "place by the open country," from the Old English "bi" + "feld." [2]

Early Origins of the Bifield family

The surname Bifield was first found in Northamptonshire, at Byfield, a parish, in the union of Daventry, hundred of Chipping-Warden. [3] [4] [5]

One of the first records of the family was found in Norfolk where Nigel de Bifeld was listed in the Feet of Fines for 1202. Later Robert de Byfeld was listed in the Assize Rolls for Northamptonshire in 1314-1316. Later again, Adam Byfelde was found in Gloucestershire in 1367. [6]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included an entry for John de Byfeld, but no county was provided for this entry. [7]

Early History of the Bifield family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bifield research. Another 178 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1273, 1367, 1579, 1597, 1597, 1616, 1654, 1741, 1579, 1622, 1597, 1596, 1579, 1665, 1622, 1598, 1664, 1598, 1597, 1660, 1615, 1643 and 1654 are included under the topic Early Bifield History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bifield Spelling Variations

Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Bifield include Byfield, Byfeld, Byfelde, Byfild, Byfielde, Bifield and many more.

Early Notables of the Bifield family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Nicholas Byfield (1579-1622), a prominent Puritan minister and writer. He was a native of Warwickshire, son by his first wife of Richard Byfield, who became vicar of Stratford-on-Avon in January 1597. Nicholas was entered at Exeter College, Oxford, in Lent term 1596, as 'aged 17 at least,' which gives 1579 as the latest date for his birth. Taking orders he intended to exercise his ministry in Ireland; but on his way thither he preached at Chester, and was prevailed upon to remain as one of the city preachers, without cure. He lectured at...
Another 270 words (19 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bifield Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Bifield family

Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Bifield were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: Robert Byfield who arrived in America in 1766.



  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
  5. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  6. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  7. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print


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