Show ContentsPenfield History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Penfield name was originally an Anglo-Saxon name that was given to a keeper of the pound where animals were sheltered. Pinfold was an area where stray animals were rounded up if their owners failed to properly supervise their use of common grazing land as in "a pound or pen for sheep and cattle, sometimes called a pin-fold or pound-fold-a manorial holding for trespassing animals." 1

Early Origins of the Penfield family

The surname Penfield was first found in Essex where the name was originally recorded as Panfield, a location name in the Domesday Book. 2 Pancevold, was a tenant in chief; and Pancefolt, under-tenant at time of Survey. 3

While Essex, was the first mention of the family, we must look to Sussex to see the lion's share of the entries years later. Here, Thomas ate Pundfolde was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for 1296 and a few years later, John Pennefold was found in the Subsidy Rolls for 1332. In Suffolk, Richard and Henry Pynfoul was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for 1327. 4

"Penfold or Pennifold is an old Sussex name. Stephen Penfold was twice mayor of Chichester in the reign of Charles II., and the name is still in the town; at that time the Penfolds held large estates in the parish of Angmering: Hugh Penfold owned the Cissbury estate, Findon, in 1794." 5

Down in Devon, the "B" prefix was often substituted as in John Bynford who was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of 1642 and in this case the family called Binneford in Crediton, in Sandford their home. 4

Early History of the Penfield family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Penfield research. Another 74 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Penfield History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Penfield Spelling Variations

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Penfield has undergone many spelling variations, including Penfold, Penfield, Pinfold and others.

Early Notables of the Penfield family

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

United States Penfield migration to the United States +

To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Penfield were among those contributors:

Penfield Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • E S Penfield, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 6
  • George B Penfield, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 6
  • William B Penfield, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 6
  • A. Penfield, aged 24, who immigrated to the United States from London, in 1896
  • E. G. Penfield, aged 38, who settled in America, in 1896
Penfield Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Edward Penfield, aged 36, who landed in America, in 1903
  • Blanche Penfield, who landed in America, in 1905
  • Allan M. Penfield, aged 31, who landed in America, in 1909
  • Elizabeth Penfield, who immigrated to the United States, in 1909
  • Alice E. Penfield, aged 57, who landed in America, in 1909
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Penfield (post 1700) +

  • Wilder Graves Penfield OM, CC, CMG, FRS (1891-1976), American-born, Canadian neurosurgeon and Rhodes Scholar, eponym of the "The Prix Wilder-Penfield", an award for biomedicine research
  • Addison Pierce "Add" Penfield (1918-2010), American pioneer in North Carolina sports radio, was the original radio "Voice of the Blue Devils"
  • Louis Penfield, American painter who is probably best known by his house in Willoughby Hills, Ohio which was designed and built by Frank Lloyd Wright
  • Daniel Penfield (1759-1840), American merchant and Revolutionary War veteran, founder and eponym of Penfield, New York
  • Frederic Courtland Penfield (1855-1922), American diplomat, United States Minister to Austria (1913-1917), United States Diplomatic Agent to Eqypt (1893-1897)
  • Edward Penfield (1866-1925), leading American illustrator, considered to be the father of the American poster
  • Smith Newell Penfield (1837-1920), American composer
  • William Penfield, British settler to the Adelaide area, South Australia in 1850; his area was later to become known as Penfield, now a suburb of Adelaide
  • George Penfield Shears (1890-1978), American Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Penfield Tate, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Colorado, 1996 7

SS Caribou
  • Mr. Randall M. Penfield, British passenger who was Royal Army was travelling aboard the railway ferry "SS Caribou" when it was struck by a German submarine torpedo on 14th October 1942, the most significant sinking in Canadian waters at that time, he died in the sinking

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
  4. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  6. 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)
  7. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 9) . Retrieved from on Facebook