England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Hangefield family 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 Hangefield family
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 Hangefield family
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Hangefield Spelling Variations
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 Hangefield family name include Handfield, Hanfield, Haningfield, Hangefield, Havingfield and many more.
Early Notables of the Hangefield family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Hangefield family to the New World and Oceana
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 Hangefield family to immigrate North America: Thomas Handfield who settled in Maryland in 1741.
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