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Surname Penfold - Meaning and Origin

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Penfold: What does the surname Penfold mean?

The surname Penfold is of Anglo-Saxon origin, originating from England. It is a locational or topographic surname, often given to individuals based on their place of residence. The name is derived from the Old English words "penn" meaning "enclosure" or "pen" and "fald" meaning "fold" which refers to a fenced enclosure or paddock for animals. Therefore, the name Penfold would have originally referred to a person who lived near or worked at such a place. The variations of the surname include Penfolds, Penfold, and sometimes Penfield. It is important to note that locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. Moreover, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few centuries ago.

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Penfold: Where does the name Penfold come from?

The last name Penfold is most commonly found in the United Kingdom today. Parts of England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland all currently count the name Penfold among their citizens.

In England, the highest concentrations of the name Penfold can be found within the county of the East Midlands. Specifically, residents have reported seeing higher numbers within the city of Milton Keynes (in Buckinghamshire), as well as among the cities of Leicester, Northampton, and Coventry.

Within Wales, the last name Penfold is especially common in and around the city of Cardiff, the capital of Wales. Other smaller cities where Penfold is particularly prevalent include Aberdare, Merthyr Tydfil, and Barry.

In Scotland, records show the highest counts of Penfold found within the city of Edinburgh and its many surrounding neighborhoods.

Finally, within Northern Ireland, concentrations of Penfold can be seen among the city of Belfast and its suburbs.

Overall, the UK remains by far the region with the highest rates of people carrying the last name Penfold. It is also among the few countries that continues to see this name rise in population over the course of the past century.

Variations of the surname Penfold

The surname Penfold has a variety of variants, spellings and surnames of the same origin. Some of the most common variations of the surname Penfold include Pendle, Penfoeld, Pandall, Penfowld and Pinfold. The spelling variant ‘Penfould’ is also quite popular.

Variation in the spelling of surnames of the same origin was a common practice during early modern times. Many factors, including illiteracy and regional dialects, caused names to be spelled in any number of ways. So in the case of the Penfold surname, a family living in Yorkshire may have spelled it Pendle, while a family living in Cornwall may have spelled it Penfoeld, and a family living in Gloucester may have spelled it Penfowld.

The origin of the Penfold surname is interesting as well. Some sources suggest that it is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is derived from a place name in southern England. The name may also have derived from the Old English word ‘penfald’, meaning ‘enclosed field’.

Lastly, there are some connections between the Penfold surname and several English surnames, including Penton, Penny, Penrose, Pennant, Penman andinnie. It is quite likely that all of these surnames have a similar origin, or derived from the same root word: pen.

Famous people with the name Penfold

  • David Penfold: British television actor
  • Ashley Penfold: British television presenter
  • John Penfold: Canadian actor
  • Stephen Penfold: British actor in film and television
  • Victoria Penfold: British actress
  • Mark Penfold: Canadian actor and vocalist
  • Thomas Penfold: British actor
  • Peter Penfold: British actor
  • Graham Penfold: Australian actor
  • Kyle Penfold: British actor and director

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