When the ancestors of the Hanfield family emigrated to England
following the Norman Conquest
in 1066 they brought their family name with them. 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 Hanfield family
The surname Hanfield 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 Hanfield family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hanfield research.Another 173 words (12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hanfield History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Hanfield Spelling Variations
The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations
are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Hanfield has been recorded under many different variations, including Handfield, Hanfield, Haningfield, Hangefield, Havingfield and many more.
Early Notables of the Hanfield family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Hanfield Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Hanfield family to the New World and Oceana
To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England
, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Hanfields were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America: Thomas Handfield who settled in Maryland in 1741.
Contemporary Notables of the name Hanfield (post 1700)
- John Hanfield Brunskill DSO (1875-1940), Irish cricketer