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Whitfield Genealogy and Whitfield Family History Information

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About the Whitfield surname

The Whitfield name is believed to be of Danish origin. In its original form the name "Hvitfeldt" represented a Danish (Norse) clan from an area of chalk cliffs or uplands i.e. 'white fields'. The name is recorded in various forms in the British documents including "Whitefield" (pronounced Whitfield), Whytfield, Whitfeld, Whitfeild, Whitefeld and Witfeld . The House of Surrey used the form Whitfield The earliest accounts indicate that the clan established itself in Northumberland, England in the early 11th century. John Palmer has recorded lineage previous to that date in his manuscript written in 1836 but the Norse surname became a landmark in the 13th Century. By the 1500's they were established in Normandy and the name had been anglicised and the families Christianised. A great Hall and estates were built under the supervision of the first Richard Whitfield in Normandy in the 1200s. Two Richards, a Robert, a Matthew and a John succeeded him. The subsequent heirs married in property to daughters of high standing and property worth and the estates were linked with significant Castles and estates in Northumberland, Durham and Cumberland. In the late 1400's and 1500's the family entities expanded from Normandy into England particularly to Northumberland, Norfolk and Sussex. The seafaring background and Norse heritage kept the families in proximity to the sea and trading. They became owners of lands and great estates and were famous for trading and commerce. Many were granted the title "Esquire" with their name signifying a member of the English gentry ranking just below knighthood or in its archaic form "a landed proprietor". (Owner of an estate.)

For this and more information including the Whitfield Coat of Arms go to my web page at http://pelejab.page.tl