The origins of the Heafields name lie with England's ancient Anglo-Saxon
culture. It comes from when the family lived on a heath, which is an area of level, uncultivated land with poor, coarse, undrained soil and rich deposits of peat or peaty humus. The surname Heafields belongs to the class of topographic
surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees. The name was originally derived from the Old English words hæth,
which meant heath,
and the word feld,
which meant field.
Early Origins of the Heafields family
The surname Heafields was first found in Sussex
at Heathfield, a parish, in the union of Hailsham, hundred
of Hawkesborough, rape of Hastings. CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
The Feet of Fines of 1265 in Norfolk
list the first record of the name as Walter de Hethfeld. The Hundredorum Rolls
of 1273 list: Lynot de Hethefeld and Livesa de Hethfeld in Oxfordshire
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
Heathfield is the scene of a severe battle in the year 635, between Cadwallo, and Edwin of Northumbria and his son Osfrid, on a spot since now named Slaughter Common.
Early History of the Heafields family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Heafields research.Another 133 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Heafields History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Heafields Spelling Variations
Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations
are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon
surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Heafields were recorded, including Heathfield, Heatfield, Heethfield, Heathfeild, Heatfeild and many more.
Early Notables of the Heafields family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Heafields Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Heafields family to the New World and Oceana
To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England
went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Heafields family emigrate to North America: John Heathfield settled in Barbados in 1685; along with his wife Margaret.