Penfold History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Penfold has been recorded in British history since the time when the Anglo-Saxons ruled over the region. The name is assumed to have been given to someone who was 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 Penfold family

The surname Penfold 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 Penfold family

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

Penfold Spelling Variations

The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Penfold has been spelled many different ways, including Penfold, Penfield, Pinfold and others.

Early Notables of the Penfold family (pre 1700)

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


United States Penfold migration to the United States +

Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Penfolds to arrive in North America:

Penfold Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Frederick Penfold, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1878 [6]

Canada Penfold migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Penfold Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Jesse Penfold, who landed in Canada in 1832

Australia Penfold migration to Australia +

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

Penfold Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Henry Penfold, British Convict who was convicted in Southampton, Hampshire, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Elizabeth" on 11th August 1820, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • William Friend Penfold, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "John" in 1840 [8]
  • Hannah Penfold, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "John" in 1840 [8]
  • Frederick Penfold, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "John" in 1840 [8]
  • Sarah Penfold, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "John" in 1840 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Penfold 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:

Penfold Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Stephen Penfold, aged 31, a carpenter, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Birman" in 1842
  • Harriet Penfold, aged 32, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Birman" in 1842
  • Hannah Penfold, aged 5, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Birman" in 1842
  • Harriet Penfold, aged 4, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Birman" in 1842
  • Ellen Eleanor Penfold, aged 2, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Birman" in 1842
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Penfold (post 1700) +

  • Christopher Rawson Penfold (1811-1870), English physician who emigrated to Australia and founded Penfolds, the Australian wine producer in 1844
  • Christopher Penfold, English writer and producer in radio and TV
  • John Penfold (1828-1909), English surveyor and architect, designer of the Penfold style pillar box
  • Major-General Robert Bernard Penfold CB LVO (1916-2015), British Army officer, GOC South East District (1969-1972)
  • Albert Ernest Penfold (1884-1941), British founder of Penfold Golf Ltd., a British manufacturer of golf balls, golf gloves and golf equipment in 1927
  • David "Dave" Penfold (b. 1964), New Zealand field hockey player at the 1992 Summer Olympics
  • Merimeri Penfold CNZM (1920-2014), née Roberts, a New Zealand Maori educator
  • Liz Penfold, Australian politician, Liberal member for the district of Flinders
  • Jodie Penfold, British television presenter


  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. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 3rd March 2022). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/elizabeth
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) JOHN from London 1840. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1840John.htm


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