Show ContentsNield History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Nield is a name that first reached England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Nield family lived in Berkshire where Willelmus filius Nigelli was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086. [1] While this may seem like a stretch form the modern day spellings of the name, we must remember that name entries at this time were in Latin. In fact later, another Willelmus Nigelli was listed in Wiltshire according to the Feet of Fines for 1195. "The name was carried to Iceland by the Scandinavians as Njáll, taken to Norway, then to France and brought to England by the Normans. It was also introduced direct into north-west England and Yorkshire by Norwegians from Ireland. " [2]

Early Origins of the Nield family

The surname Nield was first found in Wiltshire where they held a family seat from ancient times as Lords of the manor of Grittleton, pre-Conquest called Grutelington (940 AD) and by the Domesday Book in 1086, the place name had changed to Gretelintone. [1] The parish of Grittleton included the Glastonbury Abbey, one of the richest churches in England at that time. At the time of the Conquest, the lands were held by Urso from the Bishop of Coutance, conjecturally the ancestor of this distinguished family.

Early History of the Nield family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Nield research. Another 187 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1754, 1857, 1789, 1836, 1485, 1828, 1952, 1950, 1678, 1743, 1805, 1891, 1845, 1846, 1900, 1894, 1895, 1850, 1641 and 1699 are included under the topic Early Nield History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Nield Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Nield are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Nield include Neeld, Neald, Neild, Nield, Nields, Neelde, Nealde, Neilde, Nielde, Neele and many more.

Early Notables of the Nield family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Daniel Neal (1678-1743), an English historian; Sir John Neeld (1805-1891), 1st Baronet, MP for Cricklade and Chippenham, gentlemen of the privy council, married Elizabeth Harriet in 1845; his son Sir Algernon William Neeld (1846-1900) was 2nd Baronet and Sheriff of Wiltshire...
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Nield Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Nield migration to the United States +

Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Nield, or a variant listed above:

Nield Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Nield, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1683 [3]
Nield Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Charles Nield, who settled in America in 1804

Australia Nield migration to Australia +

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

Nield Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Nield, (b. 1818), aged 19, English convict who was convicted in Chester, Cheshire, England for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Blenheim" on 11th March 1837, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [4]

New Zealand Nield 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:

Nield Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Hannah J. Nield, (b. 1858), aged 3 months, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Mystery" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 29th March 1859 [5]
  • Mr. Joseph Nield, (b. 1829), aged 29, British hand sawyer travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Mystery" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 29th March 1859 [5]
  • Mrs. Harriet Nield, (b. 1837), aged 21, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Mystery" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 29th March 1859 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Nield (post 1700) +

  • Wallace E. Nield (1889-1950), American Republican politician, Candidate for Wisconsin State Assembly from Racine County 2nd District, 1948 [6]
  • Sir Herbert Nield PC (1862-1932), British Conservative Party politician, Member of Parliament for Ealing (1906–1931), Deputy Lieutenant of Middlesex in 1912, Privy Councillor in 1924
  • Mr. Michael John Wray Nield M.B.E., British recipient of Member of the Order of the British Empire on 8th June 2018, for services to Mountain Rescue and to the community in Greater Manchester [7]
  • Professor Lawrence Nield (b. 1941), retired Australian architect, former head of the Heritage Council of New South Wales; he won the Australian Institute of Architects 2012 Gold Medal for Outstanding Achievement
  • Sir Basil Edward Nield (1903-1996), British Conservative Party politician, Member of Parliament for City of Chester (1940–1956)

The Nield Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Nomen extendere factis
Motto Translation: The name matches the deed

  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  4. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 15th October 2020). Retrieved from
  5. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  6. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 11) . Retrieved from
  7. "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62310, 4 July 2019 | London Gazette, The Gazette, June 2018, on Facebook