Heningfield is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England
with the Norman Conquest
of 1066. The Heningfield 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 Heningfield family
The surname Heningfield 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 Heningfield family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Heningfield research.Another 173 words (12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Heningfield History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Heningfield Spelling Variations
Endless spelling variations
are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Handfield, Hanfield, Haningfield, Hangefield, Havingfield and many more.
Early Notables of the Heningfield family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Heningfield Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Heningfield family to the New World and Oceana
To escape the political and religious persecution within England
at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Heningfield or a variant listed above: Thomas Handfield who settled in Maryland in 1741.