Masefield History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Masefield family

The surname Masefield was first found in Staffordshire or Sussex where we find parishes named Mayfield. The Staffordshire parish dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 when it was known as Medevelde. [1] The Sussex parish was originally known as Magavelda in the 12th century. Both parishes have very different histories.

The Sussex parish dates back to "Henry III. [who] granted a charter for a market and two fairs to be held here; the former has long been disused, and the latter are on May 30th for pedlery, and November 13th for cattle and pedlery. A great fire broke out at Mayfield in 1389, which burned the church and the greater part of the village. " [2]

The Staffordshire parish dates back to Roman times where "this place, from the discovery of Roman antiquities in the immediate vicinity, is supposed to have been occupied by the Romans: in digging a morass, vestiges of a paved road were discovered, and traces of an old fortification have been found at a place called Clines. " [2]

Both parishes literally mean "open land where madder grows," from the Old English "maeddre" + "feld." [3] [4] [5] Rose Madder or Common Madder or Dyer's Madder, is a herbaceous perennial plant species belonging to the bedstraw and coffee family Rubiaceae.

Ironically, we must look to Kent to find the first record of the family. For it is here that Phillip de Maleville was recorded 1210-1212. Much later, William Mayfeild was listed in Devon in 1642. [6]

More recently, the surname is common in Nottinghamshire and this may an additional point of origin. [7]

Early History of the Masefield family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Masefield research. Another 80 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1455 and 1487 are included under the topic Early Masefield History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Masefield Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Mayfield, Mayville, Mayfeld, Maifield, Mayfeild and many more.

Early Notables of the Masefield family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Masefield Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Australia Masefield migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Masefield Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

New Zealand Masefield migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Masefield Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John Masefield, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "City of Auckland" in 1870
  • Mr. Thomas Masefield, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Queen Bee" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 8th February 1871 [9]
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Masefield, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Queen Bee" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 8th February 1871 [9]
  • Mr. Richard Masefield, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Queen Bee" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 8th February 1871 [9]
  • Mrs. Mary R Masefield, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Queen Bee" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 8th February 1871 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Masefield (post 1700) +

  • Paul Darren Masefield (b. 1970), English former football right back, current television broadcaster
  • John Edward Masefield (1878-1967), English poet, Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom from 1930 until his death, also known for his children's novels The Midnight Folk and The Box of Delights


  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  4. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  5. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  6. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  7. ^ Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8)
  8. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1824 with 9 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1824
  9. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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