Show ContentsGarfield History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Garfield is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin and comes from the family once having lived in the area that was referred to as the gar-field. The surname Garfield was taken literally from the Old English words garr and feld which literally mean the grassy land or pasture.

Early Origins of the Garfield family

The surname Garfield was first found in Northamptonshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Early History of the Garfield family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Garfield research. Another 44 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Garfield History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Garfield Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Garfield family name include Garfield, Garfeild and others.

Early Notables of the Garfield family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Garfield Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Garfield Ranking

In the United States, the name Garfield is the 6,038th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [1]

United States Garfield migration to the United States +

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Garfield surname or a spelling variation of the name include:

Garfield Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Edward Garfield who arrived in New England in 1630
  • Edward Garfield, who arrived in Watertown, Massachusetts in 1630 [2]
  • Benjamin Garfield, who landed in Watertown, Massachusetts in 1689 [2]
Garfield Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • A Garfield, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [2]
  • F Garfield, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [2]
  • J Garfield, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [2]
  • S. W. Garfield, who arrived in Acapulco Mexico in 1852
  • John Garfield, who settled in San Francisco in 1852

Australia Garfield migration to Australia +

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

Garfield Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Jeremy Garfield, English silversmith who was convicted in London, England for 7 years for forgery, transported aboard the "Eliza" on 13th July 1822, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Garfield (post 1700) +

  • Allen Garfield (1939-2020), born Allen Goorwitz, an American film and television actor, best known for his roles in The Conversation, Nashville and Beverly Hills Cop II; he died from COVID-19
  • Eugene Eli Garfield (1925-2017), American linguist and businessman
  • Harry Augustus Garfield (1863-1942), son of James A. Garfield, American educator, professor at Princeton from 1903-1908
  • Brian Francis Wynne Garfield (b. 1939), American novelist, screenwriter, and producer
  • Walter Hamilton Garfield (1840-1885), American politician, U.S. Consul in Martinique, 1878-85 [4]
  • Theodore Greenlief Garfield (1894-1989), American Republican politician, District Judge in Iowa 11th District, 1927-40; Justice of Iowa State Supreme Court, 1941-69; Chief Justice of Iowa State Supreme Court, 1961-69 [4]
  • Samuel M. Garfield, American politician, Supervisor of Paris Township, Michigan, 1863-66, 1870-73 [4]
  • James Rudolph Garfield (1865-1950), American politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Ohio, 1932 [4]
  • James Abram Garfield (1831-1881), American Republican politician, Member of Ohio State Senate, 1859-61; U.S. Representative from Ohio 19th District, 1863-81; President of the United States, 1881 [4]
  • Harry A. Garfield, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from New Jersey, 1904 [4]
  • ... (Another 6 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

USS Arizona
  • Mr. Jerome H. Garfield, American Ensign working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he survived the sinking [5]

  1. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  2. 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)
  3. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 15th February 2022). Retrieved from
  4. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 11) . Retrieved from
  5. Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from on Facebook