Surname Butterfield - Meaning and Origin
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Butterfield: What does the surname Butterfield mean?
Butterfield is an English surname that is topographical in origin. This means it usually referred to a unique or notable physical feature of the landscape where the original bearers of the name resided. More specifically, Butterfield likely refers to a field where buttercups grew abundantly or possibly a place where butter was made or sold. The name has two parts: 'butter', from the Old English 'butere', and 'field’, from the Old English 'feld', which means 'an open country, a plain'. So, a literal translation of the name could be 'the open country of butter'. It's important to note any interpretation can be speculative. The surname Butterfield first appeared in early records in Yorkshire in Northern England, and the earliest known bearer of this surname was a certain Thomas de Bodefeld, who was documented in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379.
Butterfield: Where does the name Butterfield come from?
The surname Butterfield is of Anglo-Saxon origin, derived from a place name. Most likely, the original bearers of the name lived or worked in a prominent dairy field, or were from one of the several places named Butterfield in England. The components of the name are 'butere', meaning butter, and 'feld', meaning field, found in Old English. The first recorded spelling belongs to John de Bodefeld in the Subsidy Rolls of Yorkshire in 1301.
Today, the surname Butterfield is found most commonly in England, especially in the county of Yorkshire. There was significant migration from England to the United States, Canada, and Australia during the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, leading to the name becoming more prevalent in these countries. Hence, substantial populations of the Butterfield family can be found in these countries, especially in the United States and Australia. Despite this, it is not considered a hugely common surname in these areas.
Variations of the surname Butterfield
Butterfield is an English surname that originated from the geographical location 'Butterfield', referring to a person who lived near a dairy farm. Variations of the surname Butterfield can include Buterfield, Butterfeild, Butterfild, and Butterfeld. Other spellings can be traced back to different dialects and regions in England, including Butterfill and Butterworth. The name Buterfeld appears in 14th century Yorkshire records suggesting a possible variation in spelling.
It should also be noted that spelling variations for surnames were quite common in earlier centuries. The spelling was often done phonetically (devised on the pronunciation), and was therefore subject to interpretation. This is why various spellings for the same name can often be found.
Surname origins can also be influenced by the merger of families, in which case a totally different surname may share the same origin as Butterfield.
However, Butterfield is a fairly unique name and it has fewer alternates and similar surname origins as compared to many other last names. In order to ascertain detailed surnames of the same origin or exact variants of Butterfield, genealogical research would be required.
Famous people with the name Butterfield
- Asa Butterfield: English actor known for roles in films like "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas" and "Hugo."
- Benjamin Butterfield: Renowned Canadian tenor, known for his performances in classical music and opera.
- Brett Butterfield: English former professional footballer.
- Daniel Butterfield: American Civil War general and Medal of Honor recipient, best known for composing the bugle call "Taps."
- Alexander Butterfield: Former U.S. military officer and White House official, known for revealing the presence of a secret White House taping system during the Watergate scandal.
- Simeon Butterfield: Bermudan cricketer.
- William Butterfield: British architect known for his Gothic revival churches.
- Ned Butterfield: American baseball player.
- Stuart Butterfield: Canadian entrepreneur, co-founder of Flickr and Slack.
- Julia A. Butterfield: Philanthropist and widow of U.S. Civil War General Daniel Butterfield.
- Charles W. Butterfield: American composer, conductor, and music educator.
- Lisa Butterfield: Television producer and director.
- Paul Butterfield: American blues harmonica player and singer.
- Stephen Butterfield: American writer and Buddhist practitioner.