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CHATFIELD Family History

This interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and a locational surname deriving from an unidentified place thought to have been situated in Sussex, near Hurstpierpoint, or perhaps nearer to the border with Kent; the quantity of early recordings in both counties are suggestive of either situation. The placename is composed of the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Ceatta", from "catte", cat, with "feld", pasture, open country, thus "Ceatta's feld". The term "feld" was used specifically of land cleared of forest, but not brought into cultivation, as opposed to, on the one hand, "aecer", cultivated soil, enclosed land, and on the other to "weald", wooded land, uncleared forest.

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