Heathfield is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon
origin and comes from the family once having 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 Heathfield 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 Heathfield family
The surname Heathfield 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 Heathfield family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Heathfield research.Another 133 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Heathfield History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Heathfield Spelling Variations
Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations
were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Heathfield family name include Heathfield, Heatfield, Heethfield, Heathfeild, Heatfeild and many more.
Early Notables of the Heathfield family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Heathfield Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Heathfield family to the New World and Oceana
For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland
, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Heathfield surname or a spelling variation of the name include:
Heathfield Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- John Heathfield, who settled in Barbados in 1685 along with his wife Margaret
Contemporary Notables of the name Heathfield (post 1700)
- Peter Heathfield (1929-2010), British trade unionist
- Marian Heathfield, television actress
- Adrian Heathfield, writer, curator of contemporary performance and visual art