Recorded in various spellings including Afield, Haffield, Hayfield, Heafield and Heyfield, this is an English locational surname. It almost certainly derives from the two places called Hayfield, in the county of Derbyshire, although there is a possibility that some nameholders at least may originate from a now "lost" medieval site somewhere in the south of England. The place name is first recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book at "Hedfeld". This means the open grass land. The surname is well recorded in Derbyshire, although many early recordings are to found in the London church registers. This suggests that the first of the name holders, may well have been people who were forced out of their original homes by the iniquitous Enclosure Acts of the 14th and 15th centuries. Under these acts local landlords were empowered to "enclose" the common grazing lands, and by this legalised robbery tenants had no choice, but to leave to seek homes elsewhere. The easiest method of identification was to call strangers by the name of the place from whence they came, a system which still applies in the 20th century. Early examples of the surname recording include John Haffeld, at the church of St Hallows, London Wall, on February 18th 1572, and Robert Haffield, in the register of St Andrew's by the Wardrobe, city of London, on May 8th 1588. Other examples are those of John Heyfield, at Stretton-en-le-Field, Derbyshire, on May 26th 1682, and George Hayfield, at Willesley, Derbyshire, on October 8th 1693. The earliest known church recording may be that of Ann Afield, who married Raph Marledge, at Breadsall, Derbyshire on May 17th 1576. This was during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st, 1558 - 1603.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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  • Afield — A*field , adv. [Pref. a + field.] 1. To, in, or on the field. We drove afield. Milton. [1913 Webster] How jocund did they drive their team afield! Gray. [1913 Webster] 2. Out of the way; astray. [1913 Webster] Why should he wander afield at the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • afield — index astray Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • afield — (adv.) 1590s, contraction of Middle English in felde, from O.E. on felda in the field (especially of battle), from a on (see A (Cf. a ) (1)) + FIELD (Cf. field). Meaning away from home is attested by early 15c …   Etymology dictionary

  • afield — ► ADVERB ▪ to or at a distance …   English terms dictionary

  • afield — [ə fēld′] adv. 1. in, on, or to the field 2. away (from home) 3. off the right path; astray …   English World dictionary

  • afield — [[t]əfi͟ːld[/t]] 1) PHRASE: oft from PHR Further afield or farther afield means in places or areas other than the nearest or most obvious one. They enjoy participating in a wide variety of activities, both locally and further afield... You are… …   English dictionary

  • afield — a|field [ ə fild ] adverb far afield far away, especially from where you live or are staying: The salon attracts clients from as far afield as Vienna. farther afield (=longer distances away, especially from home): As Kim became more confident, he …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • afield — /euh feeld /, adv. 1. abroad; away from home. 2. off the beaten path; far and wide: to go afield in one s reading. 3. off the mark: His criticism was totally afield. 4. in or to the field or countryside. 5. beyond the range or field of one s… …   Universalium

  • afield — a|field [əˈfi:ld] adv far/further/farthest afield far away, especially from home ▪ They were exporting as far afield as Alexandria. ▪ students who come from further afield …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • afield — adverb or adjective Date: before 12th century 1. to, in, or on the field < was weak at bat but strong afield > 2. away from home ; abroad 3. out of the way ; astray < irrelevant remarks that carried us far afield > …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • afield — adverb a) Digressing from the topic at hand. Our discussions go so far afield it is really amazing we ever finish one. b) On the field. We now have both teams afield and can begin the match …   Wiktionary

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