The Origins of the Name Maxfield

The English surname Maxfield is local in origin, being derived in this case from the placename Macclesfield in Cheshire. In general a local name was either assumed by an individual from the patrimonial estate, if he held land or was bestowed by others on those whose place of residence or birth and who had subsequently moved. Thus the surname simply denotes one who came from Macclesfield. The placename Macclesfield meaning literally Maccas or Maccels field, from the old English personal name Macca or Maccel.


Early recorded instances of the name include a reference to William son of John in the church records of St. Antholin,Budgrow London in 1539 and John Maxfield " A brasier dwellinge in Cornhill" in the church records of St. Peter, Cornhill, London in 1608. there are two instances of the name listed in London Commercial Directory of 1870 and three instances in the court directory for the West Riding of Yorkshire in 1867.


The surname was established in the United States at an early date. There are four instances of the name listed in the New York Directory of 1877 (Wilson ) and six instances in the Boston Directory of 1886 (Sampson,Thurlock & Co.)

Coat of Arms

BLAZON OF ARMS: Gules a cross engrailed ermine. Translation: the background colour  gules (red) denotes military fortitude and magnanimity. The cross is representative of the Christian faith.

CREST: On a gucal coronet a dolphin naiant. Translation : The dolphin signifies charity and affection.

Bellow are extracts from a e mail from Peter Maxfield on the subject of the origin of the name Maxfield.

Our branch is from Herefordshire. There is a chap called Roland living in Goole, Yorkshire who has the tree back to around the late 1700's, and he's still working on it. I had two books from the library that were helpful, but not sure what they were called. One was a big red book about Cheshire and the hundreds. I photocopied some pages, this was in the seventies. It says there were 2 families called Macclesfield in Cheshire, one died out in 1369 and the next one moved on to Staffordshire. I then read another book, copied more pages which showed the Staffordshire tree over several generations but couldn't link it to the Herefordshire one. In the former book relating to the arms. It says "This coat is evidently one differenced from the Legh of Lyme coat, Gules a cross engrailed Argent, by the addition of the ermine spots, and is so far corroborative of the connection of the two families". The above is a footnote to a picture of the arms of the family of Macclesfield. In this book page 478, Prestbury Parish it says- "Of the second family of the Macclesfelds, the earliest member is JOHN DE MACCLESFELD, clerk, parson of Denham, who is commonly stated to have been a younger brother of the first Piers Legh of Lyme (son of Robert de Legh, of Adlington), who took the name of Macclesfeld from the place of his residence, the older family of that name having, as already shown, become extinct in the main line. He was living in the latter part of the 14th century, and is frequently mentioned in early deeds and charters relating to Macclesfield. In 1402, as already mentioned on p. 428, he had a grant of the manor of Bosley, near Macclesfield, which afterwards passed to the Duke of Buckingham. In 1398 and 1410, he had licence to embattle and fortify his house in Macclesfield as already described. Being a clerk, he could not legally marry, but by Katherine de Kingesley he had a family of five sons, John, William, Thomas, Ralph, and Nicholas of whom the eldest was married before 1418, to Margaret, daughter of Sir John Savage, Knt., but it is doubtful if he had any issue. William and Thomas de Macclesfield were living in 1414, but it is most probable that they also died without issue. The fourth son, RALPH DE MACCLESFELD, was living in 1442, when he had a grant from Humphrey, Duke of Buckingham, of the manor of Mere, co. Stafford, with lands there and elsewhere, in that county to him and his heirs for ever, with remainder to his brother Nicholas. This Ralph was the founder of the family of Macclesfield of Mere, which was seated there for a long period, a pedigree of eight generations with several charters, being recorded in the Visitation of Staffordshire in 1583. They bore for arms the coat shown above, gules a cross engrailed ermine". So that's what it says about that.


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