The history of the Hafingfield family name begins after the Norman Conquest
of 1066. They lived in Essex
. Their name, however, is a local
reference which indicates that the original bearer lived at or near a field belonging to someone by the name of Hand,
hence Handfield. It is one of a number of names such as Handforth, Handford, Hanfirth, Hanfield, Handsacre, Handsworth, all of which derive from this source. The surname Hand comes from the Old English honde,
and was a nickname
used to identify a person by a peculiarity of the hands,
such as size, great skill, or agility.
Early Origins of the Hafingfield family
The surname Hafingfield was first found in Essex
where they were conjecturally descended from Ralph FitzThorold, who held the lands and villages of east, south, and west Hanningfield.
Early History of the Hafingfield family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hafingfield research.Another 173 words (12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hafingfield History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Hafingfield Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations
. When the Normans
became the ruling people of England
in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Handfield, Hanfield, Haningfield, Hangefield, Havingfield and many more.
Early Notables of the Hafingfield family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Hafingfield Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Hafingfield family to the New World and Oceana
For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England
. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Hafingfield or a variant listed above were: Thomas Handfield who settled in Maryland in 1741.