Of all the Anglo-Saxon
names to come from Britain, Wakefeld is one of the most ancient. The name is a result of the original family having lived at Wakefield in the West Riding of Yorkshire
. "Its name, in the Domesday Survey
Wachefeld, is of Saxon origin. In the reign of Edward the Confessor, it formed part of the royal demesnes; and, after the Conquest, was granted by Henry I. to William, Earl Warren, with whose descendants it remained till the reign of Edward III. " CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
However, the surname Wakefeld is occasionally derived from another settlement by the same name in Northumberland
. The surname Wakefeld belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation
names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.
Early Origins of the Wakefeld family
The surname Wakefeld was first found in Yorkshire
where they held a family seat
from very ancient times. Wachefeld being King William's land, which included in 1066 two churches. One of the more interesting first mentions of the name was Peter of Wakefield or Peter of Pontefract (died 1213), an English hermit. He prophesied that King John's crown would be passed to another by next Ascension Day, 23 May 1213. This prophecy spread throughout Britain, even to France. King John had him imprisoned and when the forecasted day came and went, had him gruesomely killed for vengeance.
Early History of the Wakefeld family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wakefeld research.Another 175 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1375 and 1665 are included under the topic Early Wakefeld History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Wakefeld 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. Wakefeld has been spelled many different ways, including Wakefield, Wakefeild and others.
Early Notables of the Wakefeld family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Wakefeld Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Wakefeld family to the New World and Oceana
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 Wakefelds to arrive in North America: Thomas Wakefield settled in Virginia in 1635; Anne Wakefield settled in Massachusetts with her husband in 1638; John Wakefeild settled in Virginia in 1635.
The Wakefeld 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: Arudua vinco
Motto Translation: I conquer difficulties.