The English surname Whitfield is an habitational name from any of various places named Whitfield, for example in Derbyshire, Kent, Northamptonshire, and Northumberland, named with Old English hwit meaning “white” and feld meaning “open country,” because of their chalky soil. The first recorded reference to the name is in 1154 when Leonard de Witefelde was recorded in the "Eynsham Cartulary" for Oxfordshire. Other early references include William de Whitefeld, in the Pipe Rolls of Somerset for the year 1230, and Richard Whytefeld in the Pipe Rolls of Gloucestershire, dated 1396. In August 1635, John Whitfield, aged 20 yrs., embarked from the port of London aboard the ship "Globe", bound for Virginia.
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