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Surname Field - Meaning and Origin

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Brewing a New Identity: The Transformational Power of a DNA Test on My Perspective of the Familial Surname 'Field'

Embarking on a genetic journey through an iGENEA DNA test, I gained a deeper understanding of my lineage, forever altering my perception of the surname 'Field' and my family's identity. This test granted me a renewed sense of belonging, bore witness to the resilience of my ancestors and enabled me to appreciate my historical roots, profoundly changing my views.

K. Field

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Field: What does the surname Field mean?

The last name Field is of English origin and is derived from the Old English word "feld," which signifies a pasture or open country. It is a topographic surname given to individuals who lived on or near a cleared piece of land or a lightly forested area, possibly used for farming of crops or pasture for animals. Over time, "feld" evolved into Field, which now exists as a common surname. In some cases, the name may pejoratively refer to an individual who dwelled on land that was thought to be unproductive or barren. The name Field can be found in many early English records in various forms such as De la Feld, Atte-Feld, Del Field, and many others. The various branches of the Field family played significant roles in English history, contributing in areas such as politics, science, arts, and more, further spreading the name across the world.

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Field: Where does the name Field come from?

The surname Field is of Anglo-Saxon origin, deriving from the Old English "feld", meaning "pasture" or "open country", used to denote someone who lived or worked in such a place. It may also refer to someone who lived near a field or agricultural land. This indicates early origins in the agrarian societies of medieval England. Various spelling forms include Feild, Fild, Felde, and De la Felde.

The Field name is often found in England and English-speaking countries due to the early migration of individuals and families looking for opportunities overseas. The name migrated to North America during the 17th century with the early colonists and can now be traced in the United States and Canada. The surname also has a strong presence in Australia and New Zealand, countries with a significant number of inhabitants with British ancestry.

Today, the surname is most prevalent in the United States, followed by England and Australia. The highest density, however, is in the Isle of Man. Well-known people bearing this surname encompass a range of professions, from the business mogul Marshall Field to the American actor Sally Field.

Variations of the surname Field

The surname Field has several variants and similar surnames that can be traced back to the same origin. It is primarily of English origin, and was usually given to those who lived near or worked in an open pasture or piece of arable land.

Variations of Field include: Fields, Feild, Feilde, Fieldes, and Feildes. These were likely spelling changes due to changes in regional dialects and phonetics over time.

There are also numerous surnames that have the same or similar roots. These include: Fielding, Fielden, Fieldhouse, Fieldman, and Fielder. These surnames are derived from the addition of suffixes that suggest a geographical or occupational characteristic.

For example, Fielding might have meant "dweller at the clearing in the field", while Fieldman could denote someone who laboriously worked in the fields.

It's interesting to note that there are also surnames that developed separately but ended up as homophones, such as Feald or Fild. These names, while sounding identical in some dialects, actually have different origins, with the former coming from Old English "f(e)aldan" meaning to fold or bend, and the latter is a Middle English term meaning child or young person.

Famous people with the name Field

  • Sally Field: An American actress and director. She is the recipient of various accolitions, including two Academy Awards.
  • Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery: Senior British Army officer during World War II.
  • John Field: An Irish pianist, composer, and teacher.
  • Syd Field: Screenwriting guru who wrote several books on the subject.
  • Eugene Field: American writer, best known for his children's poetry.
  • Fred Field: An American still photographer.
  • Terri Field: American novelist and poet.
  • Eleanor Field: An English footballer who plays for the defender position.
  • Ron Field: Tony award-winning American choreographer, director, and stage actor.
  • Totie Fields: American comedian.
  • Gracie Fields: English actress, singer and comedian and star of both cinema and music hall.
  • Kim Fields: American actress and director, best known for her roles in "The Facts of Life" and "Living Single".
  • Jessie Field Shambaugh: known as the "Mother of 4-H" for her foundational work with the rural youth organization.
  • Ted Field: American media mogul, entrepreneur and film producer.
  • David Dudley Field II: An American lawyer and law reformer who made major contributions to the development of American civil procedure.

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