The name Hanningfield reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Hanningfield family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest
of 1066. The Hanningfield 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 Hanningfield family
The surname Hanningfield 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 Hanningfield family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hanningfield research.Another 173 words (12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hanningfield History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Hanningfield Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations
. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Handfield, Hanfield, Haningfield, Hangefield, Havingfield and many more.
Early Notables of the Hanningfield family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Hanningfield Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Hanningfield family to the New World and Oceana
Because of the political and religious discontent in England
, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Hanningfield name or one of its variants: Thomas Handfield who settled in Maryland in 1741.