Field Surname Genealogy

The surname Field is topographical
in origin and described someone
who lived or worked on land
that had
been cleared of forest but not brought into
. The root is the Old
English feld meaning
“open pasture.” The German and Jewish
Feld names have similar roots, as has the Dutch Velde.
The Anglo-Norman de la
Field family gave rise to the Field and Delafield surnames. The early spelling could be Feld or
Feild. Field and
are the
main spellings today, Fields being the more common in America.

Field Resources on

Field Ancestry

England. In England the Field name has been mainly
evident in Yorkshire and in the Home Counties around London.

Yorkshire The Field name was to be
in the West Riding of Yorkshire, starting with Roger Del Field who was
born at
Sowerby in the year 1240. The estate of
William Feld was administered in the West Riding in 1480.
John Field, an early English astronomer, was
born in Ardsley sometime in the 1520’s.
Zechariah Field departed Ardsley for New England in 1629. Other Fields in the area were wealthy
clothiers, owning estates in the early 1600’s at Great Horton and at

London John Feild or Field was a Puritan preacher in
London during Elizabethan times. One son
Theophilus became the Protestant Bishop of Landaff, another son Nathan
playwright and actor at the time of Shakespeare. Two
later Field families in London have been:

  • late
    17th century Field funeral directors,
    with a practice in Southwark. Descendants
    of the founding Field family remain on the Board
    of the present
    practice of C.P.J. Field & Co.
  • 18th
    century Field apothecaries, with a practice on Newgate Street. One son Barron took a judgeship post in
    Australia in 1816 and later wrote poetry, another son Frederick was a

Elsewhere John Field
“Of the Hill” lived in Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire during
times. His son Richard was the noted
Protestant theologian and writer. It was

“His ancestors were blessed with
length of days. His estate had been in
the hands of only three owners in 160

There was also a Field family on
the Bedfordshire/Hertfordshire border, around Barton and Hitchin,
recorded from
1641 to 1927. They held for many years Pulloxhill manor. These
Fields were mostly lawyers by profession and influential in their local

Ireland. The de la Fields
were Anglo-Norman
settlers found at Corduff near Dublin from the 14th century. Their best known member was probably Richard
Field, the 16th century Jesuit priest.
They relinquished their Corduff estates in the early 17th
century. Branches of the family had by
that time moved
to county Monaghan.

Another Field family
in Dublin was musical, beginning with John Field, a church organist in
mid-18th century, and followed by his son Robert Field, a violinist,
and by his
grandson John Field, a well-known composer and pianist of the Romantic

America. Zechariah Field came to New
England from Yorkshire in 1629
and eventually settled in Hatfield, Massachusetts.
His lineage was traced in F.C. Pierce’s 1901
book Field Genealogy. One
descendant via his son Zechariah was David Dudley Field, a clergyman
historical writer who had four notable 19th century sons:

  • David Dudley Jr, a US Congressman and law
  • Stephen, an
    Associate Justice
    of the US Supreme Court
  • Cyrus, a
    businessman who led the effort to lay the first Atlantic telegraph cable
  • and Henry who followed his father as a
    clergyman and writer.

line led through Zechariah’s son John and three other Johns and a
farm to the Marshall Field who founded the Marshall Field department
store in
Chicago. By the turn of the century
Marshall Field was the wealthiest and most powerful businessman in

Robert Field arrived in America
from Yorkshire around 1630, moved to Rhode Island and
became a Quaker. By 1645 he had
moved again to Flushing in Dutch New York.
Later Fields of this family moved north to Vermont and New
after the Revolutionary War. Daniel
settled in Springfield,
Vermont. The descendants of
Anthony and Hannah Burling Field have held regular reunions.

Fields also came to Virginia. Abraham
Field, born around 1636, was the
first recorded there. Later Fields
migrated to Kentucky and two of this family accompanied Lewis and Clark
on their
famous expedition in 1803 to the West.
Others settled in Indiana.

genealogy in England and America can be found in two recent books –
William S.
Field’s 2004 book Sweet Lands of Liberty and Warren J. Field’s
2011 book
Some Field Family Journeys.

Fields is the more common spelling to be
found in America today. Two early Fields
were the brothers Isaac and William Fields who arrived from Scotland in
1742 and settled in Bald Mountain, North Carolina. Later Fields
of the family migrated to Alabama.

Richard Fields, born in 1780, appeared as an emissary to the Cherokee
tribes in Tennessee in 1801 and later served them in their skirmishes
with the Mexicans in Texas.

“The Fields family had the reputation as
being the handsomest and laziest family in the Cherokee nation, the
laziness being arrributed to the fact that they were great book lovers
and indulged this taste in preference to manual labor.”

Richard fell foul of them after a while and was executed by them in
1827. His son Ezekiel moved to what is now Oklahoma. He too
met an unfortunate end, being caught in a prairie fire in 1870.

Canada. George Field
was a United Empire Loyalist
from Long Island who served with Butler’s Rangers during the
Revolutionary War
and followed Butler to Canada afterwards.
Field House, built by his son Gilbert, was one of the first
brick homes
in the Niagara area. The property
remained with the Field family until 1925.

Patrick Field from county Cork in Ireland arrived with Peter Robinson’s
settlers in 1823 and settled in Huntley township, Quebec.
Other Irish Fields came to Gatineau at the
time of the famine. Their settlement,
now a village, was called Fieldville.

Australia. Tom and
Herbert Field emigrated
with their parents from Kent to Sydney in 1885.
The two brothers became the leading wholesale meat marketers in
the city
by the time of the First World War. Tom
was the more reserved and died early from a heart attack.
He left a large fortune. Herbert
was the more extravagant and
flamboyant. On his death in 1955 he left
much less, little more than 15% of the estate of his brother.

Field Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:

Field Names

was a 16th century English astronomer.
Marshall Field
was the
founder of
the founder of the Chicago-based Marshall Field
department store.
, born Grace Stansfield, was a popular music hall artist from Rochdale.
, born W.C.
Dukenfield, was a misanthropic American comedian.  
Sally Field
is a well-known American

Select Fields Today

  • 28,000 in the UK (most numerous
    in Yorkshire)
  • 44,000 in America (most numerous in Texas)
  • 22,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)




Click here for return to front page

Leave a Reply