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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Canfield family come from? What is the English Canfield family crest and coat of arms? When did the Canfield family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Canfield family history?

The name Canfield reached England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Canfield family lived in Yorkshire. The Canfield family descended from Richard de Camville, who owned estates in both England and France after the invasion in 1066, and gave his name to the area of Yorkshire in which his family settled. In the centuries following the Conquest of England by the Normans, the languages of the natives and their conquerors intermingled and the surname Camville changed to the more English sounding Canfield.


Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Canfield family name include Canfield, Camville, Canville, Canfeld, Cannfield, Camnville and many more.

First found in Yorkshire where they had been granted lands by William the Conqueror for their assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D. Today, Great Canfield is a village and a civil parish in the Uttlesford District of Essex, home to the Great Canfield Castle. Little Canfield is a village and a civil parish which is also located in Essex.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Canfield research. Another 321 words (23 lines of text) covering the years 1066 and 1455 are included under the topic Early Canfield History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Canfield Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Canfield family to immigrate North America:

Canfield Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Thomas Canfield, who arrived in Connecticut in 1634
  • Matthew Canfield and his brother Thomas landed in North America in 1620 and settled in New Haven. Matthew was a representative at the General Court in 1654 until the union of the Connecticut and New Haven colonies, and Thomas was one of the first settlers of Milford in 1646

Canfield Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • James Canfield, who arrived in Savanna(h), Georgia in 1825
  • Henry Canfield, who arrived in Texas in 1835
  • Henry G Canfield, who arrived in Mobile County, Ala in 1840
  • Patrick Canfield, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1844
  • John Canfield, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1846

Canfield Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • John Canfield, aged 21, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the brig "Breeze" from Dublin

Canfield Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Andrew Canfield, aged 22, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Sir Thomas Gresham"
  • Michael Canfield, aged 28, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Sir Thomas Gresham"


  • Cass Canfield (1897-1986), American senior editor for "Harper and Row", and Chairman of "Harper's Magazine"
  • Mary Grace Canfield (1924-2014), American actress, known for her roles in The Andy Griffith Show and her recurring role on the hit CBS comedy series, Green Acres where her signature, "Howdie Doodie!" introduced each appearance
  • James Hulme Canfield (1847-1909), fourth President of The Ohio State University
  • Jack Canfield (b. 1944), American motivational speaker and author
  • Donald Canfield (b. 1958), American ocean geologist, eponym of the Canfield ocean
  • Harry Clifford Canfield (1875-1945), U.S. Representative from Indiana
  • Brady Canfield (b. 1963), American skeleton racer
  • Richard Albert Canfield (1855-1914), American businessman and art collector who held the second largest collecton of Whistler paintings
  • Trevor Canfield (b. 1986), American NFL football guard
  • Arthur L. Canfield, American politician, Circuit Judge in Michigan 16th Circuit, 1888-93



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  1. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  2. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  3. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  4. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  6. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  8. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  9. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  10. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  11. ...

The Canfield Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Canfield Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 19 October 2015 at 10:03.

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